Serendipity Painting

Are you always nervous about getting started in a new sketchbook? Do the pristine pages scare you? Let me reassure you that you’re not alone! In this collection of three videos you’ll learn how to lose the blank, white page quickly and easily. Laura shows how she gets lots of glorious colour on her pages using water based paints, drawing inks and soluble pastels. She demonstrates step by step how she produces fascinating background effects for her sketchbook and art journaling work and how she constantly evaluates and responds to what she’s created on the page.


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Videos in this collection

Serendipity Painting

In this video Laura exploits the inherent characteristics of intensely coloured drawing inks and embraces the accidental effects of their fluidity! How much is controlled and deliberate and how much is left to chance is up to you! This is a fantastic way to create exciting grids on large sheets of paper that can be used in many different ways. Follow Laura’s instruction and you’ll soon have a great stash of gorgeous painted papers for your own work.

Art Journaling Backgrounds Part 1

Join Laura as she demonstrates how she creates dynamic background colour in her sketchbook. She creates framed compartments within the pages – perfect for drawing into or adding text or collage elements. If you’re feeling brave you might also enjoy seeing how she takes creative risks with a brand new sketchbook!

Art Journaling Backgrounds Part 2

In this second video Laura explains how she works into her dripped, compartmentalised and framed pages using drawing, rubbings and hand written text. She shows how cutting part of the page reveals the images below and how she builds her compositions to interpret her chosen theme.

Comments 0

  1. It was great to see your stand at the NEC – absolutely bussing with wonderful artworks and of course people! I loved watching the painting of the tea cups too…

    Your thoughts on the smocked garments and the comparison with kimonos is interesting….

    I wish you well with this new blog. Jill

  2. I'm looking forward to following your new blog. Your comment about all the best things in life being completely pointless had me laughing out loud. So true! Happy Easter!

  3. Enjoyed seeing Bobby's work and the rest of the group at the show. Also looking forward to another workshop with her at the end of the month.

  4. Have been catching up on your new blog, thanks for a taste of the NEC show, makes me sorry I couldn't get there this year. I also have 'Bobby Studio' envy, going back there in August for my second visit. Good luck with the blog, although I'm not sure where you are going to find the time to fit it in!

  5. I am not a tech geek either, but I love looking at the designs and the incredible advances that have taken place. The robot? No, thanks, unless he cleans windows and my studio. πŸ™‚ I wish those that design would look at the beauty of Art Deco and Art Nouveau for some ideas. I'd love to have a TV or computer with some beautiful ancanthus leaves or a curve here and there. Loved the speakers!

  6. Great Laura, you have given me inspiration to start in my sketchbook again. I have neglected it for so long. I have been perfecting my calligraphy; so maybe getting that into a real sketchbook will help me to start drawing around the words:)

  7. The little journal is a gorgeous find. However I think the little nest may be a goldfinch's. They are so light, they easily get blown out of trees.

  8. A lovely little journal. It looks like just the right size to hold in your hand. Swooning over the nest! The diary writer sounds like my Gram. I have one of her diaries and the entries revolve around her weight (;D), what she planted in the garden, and what I did while staying with her (I was about Amelie's age during this diary.) Simple entries, but so much my Gram. Wishing you and yours a beautiful weekend.

  9. I think the answer to "What's it about" could be "It's very complicated, I doubt you'd understand"
    But then that may be why I don't have any friends! The journal is lovely, what a great find.

  10. You live in a beautiful village. I marvel at old buildings. Of course, here in the states, old isn't that old compared to Europe. πŸ™‚ I love to walk through old cemeteries to look at the tombstones. The old, weathered etchings and words are so beautiful. I think I would be flattered if someone wanted to "rub" my tombstone. Amelie looks quite the princess strolling down the garden path, especially with the little May trees lining it. Have a wonderful week.

  11. Buy the time the corn is ripe, Amelie will have the appropriate teeth to enjoy it. I love scientic drawings. The details and interesting tidbits always draw me in.

  12. Ooh…I wish you wouldn't talk about teeth! I need a dentist visit….but I don't want to go! Why are we…at least a lot of us…so nervous of the dentist?
    I can't believe that little bundle has so many teeth already. Gosh they grow up fast…and I LOVE your work.

  13. I love those buildings…and the 'feelings' they evoke. We in NZ have no buildings of that age and when we visited the UK I had to run my hands over them, imagining who had touched them in the past.
    Looking forward to your DMTV lesson!

  14. Hi Karin, The building is our Parish church. It's called All Saints and I think according to the short history I've read, that the castellations and buttresses that make it look rather castle-like were added in the 15th Century. The grave stones in the photo are much more recent though – 18th Century I think.
    Thanks for dropping by the blog,

  15. I love the stone floor in the china building. I grew up in Seattle, Wa. There is a whole city under the current one. I too, would be hesitant to dive into a tunnel. I guess I have watched too many B movies from the 1940's. LOL! Now I am going to look and see if I have any Coalport teacups in my collection! You do live in an enchanting area.

  16. What a lovely part of the world you live in ( can't complain, though, where I am in Devon is wonderful too) – but I've not explored Staffs and Shrops area much….. I love old buildings and in particular churches and can easily spend hours in graveyards, I find them fascinating!!

  17. Thanks for this post. I am a Mature [very] Fine Arts student and I think I will start a couple of Art Journals over the long summer vac. I have a little old book [printed 1950s ] The Book of Hints and Wrinkles and another more contemporary book about Rothko. I hope to use them as less threatening way of exploring……..

  18. Ooh thanks for the post on Ludlow! I am visiting Shropshire later in the year (for a workshop at Bobby's) so I'm planning a day out in Ludlow while I'm there, will have to check out the market days x

  19. Laura, the plates are gorgeous. They have that "flow blue" and aged qualities that modern dishes lack. I love the designs. I wonder if that is why some were thinner back in the day – ogling the dinnerware instead of eating. πŸ™‚ It does give new meaning to "waiter, there is a fly in my soup!". Lovely gilded cloth. You always get my creative "what it" juices going. Thanks!

  20. Love your metal leaf samples – it's an interesting idea to experiment with. Know exactly what you mean by that blue/green – so much more subtle. Thanks for posting.

  21. Hi Richard, Great to hear you've enjoyed seeing the paintings. We digitally print them to fabric here in the UK and are happy to ship to the US. If you'd like a quote on postage costs just let me know. Laura

  22. They all look lovely. It reminds me of a friend who we used to go to dinner with. She collected Delft and she used it all too. Always interesting meals with never a plate matching but they all have a thread of a theme.

  23. I have a lovely old teal blue rectangular deep meat dish Laura if you're interested. It's by F & Sons, Burslem 'Argyll' with an elaborate floral design and what's left of a gold edging. It's approx. 11"x15".

  24. I enjoyed reading this… made me think….life can get too busy and it's important to settle down quietly. I love that you brought a new sketch book, I have several empty but they contain my thoughts, not yet rationalised or settled. I'm sure you are about to realise yet another potential, I look forward to seeing what will emerge! Barb x

  25. I recently read a book review about a woman who inherited her mother's lifetime of journals. She sat down to read and discovered they were all blank! Years upon years of empty pages. That alone makes me want to read the book. πŸ™‚ When I get stuck or in a rut, I buy a new journal. I may not use the new journal right away, but that simple act gets me moving and thinking towards what path I want to take. Wishing you an interesting path and fun discoveries!

  26. I too am in that time of introspection but my feelings/ideas aren't as formulated as yours are. Hope the muse returns and lets me know where we are headed!!

  27. Poppies are glorious & your pictures are beautiful. Unfortunately they're not out yet in Canada but I take many pictures of mine as well. Usually I have one picture day & then it rains & takes all the petals along with it. Lol

  28. But would we appreciate them as much if they were? The poppies are beautiful……Does Amelie have her own sketchbook and coloured pencils yet? Never too early I say- think of all the wonderful modelling she's getting from her family environment. She'll be exhibiting before you know it. Enjoy – the time passes before you know it…..

  29. Hi Laura I to love sketch books. After many trial and errors I found the paper in the Oink books can withstand a good deal of punishment. Only downside is their often spiral bound and I agree it hinders you when you want to expand your image to the next page. I recently purchased a couple of DM books and I'm hooked but then again you know I'm a big fan. Thanks for sharing your tips and advice.

  30. Your poppies are sooo pretty! I really wish we could grow them here – in eastern North Carolina it's too warm. Maybe if we sowed seeds in early fall, they would be pretty in late winter, early spring?! I have tried so many times – gosh, they're lovely. I am coveting your poppies – soo embarrassing.

  31. Hi Jill, Yes, I think the gold does create that effect. I guess the icon painters knew just what they were doing centuries ago!

    Darcy, I've been experimenting with various products and combinations and I'm not sure I have the definitive answer yet, but so far there's no flaking at all.

  32. "Digitally handwritten" – does that mean you have scanned your handwriting – or have you used one of those drawing tablets? It gives the work a very interesting look.

  33. Laura, this is beautiful. I have always loved your artwork with poppies and this has just been added to the list of loves. The way the digital printing maintains the tissue paper-like quality of the poppy bloom is amazing. I feel like I could reach out and touch its softness. Beautiful quilting and the script looks fantastic.

  34. Its all about the "thing". And very simply you can't do or be what you are not. It took me a long time to work out and accept, I'd like to be Constable, but actually I'm Picasso. I fought an inner battle for years berating myself because I can't do realistic imagery. I simply don't understand why people get so so wound up over one genre being 'better' than another. Its different. Same bugbear applies to hand work versus machine. I certainly don't think one is quicker than another, more skilled than another… they are different requiring a switch in method of thinking and doing.
    Keep doing what your doing, cos I'm a non quilter, but regularly read, for inspiration.

  35. A post that makes one think. What is "do much better"? I think you are doing quite well and doing much better might mean you would be ditching the Thing or turning to profits and commercial looks.

    I love your quilts and read your blog regularly.

  36. A post that is dear to my heart. I am always drawn to your quilts and paintings. You pick subjects that interest me and the execution is always amazing. Interesting about the swallow piece. Your poppy series has long been my favorite until "Don't Go". It brought tears to my eyes, but warmth to my heart. I think you could make yourself quite mad trying to keep up with the quilt world. I tried, but found that it didn't bring me the joy I sought. That is why I create, it makes me happy. I exercise the creative muscle by trying out new techniques and learning (DMTV is a lifesaver for those of us in rural areas). That is what keeps things fun and interesting, yet I always come back to hand stitch. Keep doing what makes your heart sing and your feet dance. Life is too short to do otherwise. πŸ™‚

  37. Don't listen to anyone but what your heart tells you. We don't know why we are ompelled to create a specific style/subject matter. It occurs because it is necessary in the journey. I love your work and your book The Painted Quilt is my most go to inspiration piece. I look forward to watching you on your journey and quilting/painting what makes you feel most passionate!

  38. Laura, this is such a great post. Thank you for putting into words something that I think we all struggle with at one point or another. I have been having the same sort of thoughts/doubts lately. Do I paint/quilt for other people's pleasure…i.e., do I do the thing that I think will sell? Or do I create what speaks to me, regardless of whether it is popular at the moment? There is so much abstraction in the art world right now…it seems that this is all anyone wants. Or is it just what is put before us by print media and the internet? As a decorative artist (who loves fiber art and quilting, too), I am drawn to more of the old world style of anything. I've been struggling with trying to make myself work these concepts into more abstract compositions so that I don't fall behind in this dynamic world of art. And yet, as I try to breathe life into these things I keep asking myself "Why?" And I suspect that just as soon as I get my head and arms around abstraction, there will be a sea change in the art world back to the realistic format. We could make ourselves crazy trying to keep up with the whims of others; it seems the only option is to stay true to yourself.

    Anyway – like others said, keep doing what you are doing…The Painted Quilt is my go to reference for any fiber art project…always a good place to start. You and Linda are an inspiration to so many of us – you remind us of what is possible with fabric, paint and thread.

  39. Laura I loved this post. I had written a post on my blog similar to this a couple of weeks ago…questioning the same thing – am I "on track", have I "lost my way" and all manner of questions that we could ask on a continual basis and come up with different answers. I loved "Don't Go" personally. And why? The subject matter, the emotion behind (or inside of) it.
    I do sincerely believe that as artists, as creators, we have to follow our hearts or we do lose our way. I also think that, if you're looking to make a living from your creations, you can keep that in the back of your head as you create. Give a nod to what sells but also allow your heart to lead the larger part of it. Thanks for sharing your feelings!

  40. I've just read your blog – it was very touching, reflective on your work, which is great – we should all reflect on and be mindful in our work, whether it is a 9-5 job or a piece of creative work. When you completed you piece with the dead swallow I commented on Facebook and I repeat again – it made me cry and reminded me of the 'Happy Prince' by Oscar Wilde (which also makes me cry every time I read it). The compassionate way the bird is held, even the title – very touching plus the work that went into printing it, adding colour, quilting, etc. Amazing. Your work is very distinctive and very inspirational and if I was anywhere near talented as you and Linda are, and I had made a career out of this like you have, I would much rather prefer to remain true to myself and my work than produce an art quilt that I knew might win prizes due to its commercial nature because it was more mainstream but I hated it….unless I was absolutely desperate and in dire financial straits. Ask yourself – do we need any more Sunbonnet Sue quilts? To me, I like art/quilts that appeal to me because of colour or design but I also like art/quilts that create debate and thought about the subject matter, the mood of the piece, etc. That's why I love DMTV and the Creative Quilting Course – I've tried techniques that I thought I'd never ever be able to do and that I'd never even thought about, I've been able to create work in a sketchbook and in fabric that I never would have done if it wasn't for you & Linda and what you have created.

  41. Don't worry about not posting often – it mens that when you do you have something worthwhile to say and it's well worth waiting for! Thank you for taking the time.

  42. I would have loved to hop a jet and fly over the Atlantic for this day with you. Your students created some gorgeous papers. I bet there were tired students with huge smiles on their faces.

  43. Well we had a wonderful day and I must say I was quite tired but the happiness overrode that (or was that the cake, biscuits, lunch and croissants!!). Very excited about what the printed result will turn into. Thank you Laura, Linda and all your wonderful family in making such a wonderful day happen.

  44. The papers look wonderful. It is great that designs will be printed onto fabric. Have to see what I can do and send over for printing wish I could have come to class but Australia is a little too far.

  45. I was at FOQ yesterday and Through Our Hands was WONDERFUL. Your two new quilts demonstrate exactly how hand work and digital technology can complement each other. I want hand drawn art work to look like it is hand drawn, but screen print has limitations. Digital print reproduces the colour detail and tonal variation like no other technique and your quilts are then hand worked to enhance it further. How good is that! Your work gave me joy, peace and contentment. I hope it gives you this too.

  46. Hi Laura I am so glad you all enjoyed the cakes, a little treat from me as a thank you for sharing your creativity as well as all the tips and advice you give on how we to can achieve such wonderful pieces of art. It was a pleasure, as always to pop by say hello to you and the team on the DMTV stand. Not to mention seeing the amazing exhibition of Through Our Hands and meeting Annabel, such a delight. I hope I will see you all again next year at FOQ till then take care and hugs to you all x

  47. Great to see you all on Saturday, and to introduce Ludmila to you – what an amazing woman she is. I really wish now that I'd bought one or two clock faces/maps etc but I was dizzy with exhaustion. Would they be available via the website store?

  48. That could be a problem called cedar/apple rust that doesn't affect the fruit. Don't know if the UK even has that problem. And it does look beautiful.

    Writing the same message many times? I once decided to sew big "quacks" on a baby quilt with a duck on it. Forgot to how to spell it in the middle of the work.

  49. I loved the thr3fold journals and have everyone you wrote!! I'll be first in line to purchase your book (of course I have the Painted Quilt and your mom's transfer book too!)..oh yea..also have DVD!! Am I a stalker!!! No, just a great fan of both your mom's and your work! And yes, I even purchased some of your fabric from the Fingerprint 'store'!! Even though I live in the USA/states, I still purchase your media!!
    Love this piece you're working on…so wish I could take a class from you!!!

  50. I take it you didn't write lines in detention or you my view all that text in a different light! Lol.

    Looking forward to the next book. You do put words together very well, I still have all you responses as my tutor as they are encouraging.

  51. I thought of detention too! The news of a book in the works made my day. My Tre3fold journals are dog earred and loved almost as much as The Painted Quilt. You ladies do put out marvelous products that always inspire. The apple skin is gorgeous. A little gold leaf, perhaps?

  52. I'm with you on the self publishing Laura .. it allows you such control over how the whole thing looks and feel. I mean- we are artist aren't we .. why would we want someone else to lay out a page (which is basically just a digital piece of art really) for us? I know there are big distribution and marketing advantages with the big publishers, but you just can't get that personal input and content. And we have talked before about what a pleasure it is to compose and play with page layouts .. not so very different from laying out a quilt really. I love and have all you and Lindas books/journals/DVDs – and am definitely on the list for this next one too – Hilary xx

  53. Ah you were all obviously much naughtier in school than me! I'm worried now that my workshop students will all feel like they're in detention – it will be much more fun, honestly! Thanks for all the support on the book front too. We'll get our heads down and I'm sure some sneaky peeks at things will appear on the blog over the next few weeks and months.
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Laura xx

  54. I absolutely loved Annabel's work when I saw it at the NEC….am so amazed that anyone would want to hide it behind a curtain. The work is so fantastic… it really should be hung in Tate Britain for the whole UK nation to see and admire. I also loved talking to Annabel. Am I a fan? You bet.. and I am in the same age group too. Keep up the good work Annabel and please keep exhibiting.

  55. Annabel's work is the most fantastic, articulate, compassionate art about and for women that I have ever seen. I was one of many who told her at FOQ just how moved I was by her work. I find it astonishing that this artwork can be selected for display, then covered by a modesty curtain to protect those of a sensitive disposition. What are the criteria that enabled a quilt to be displayed, then hidden? Perhaps we need to have a campaign of commendations sent to the Organising Committee! ANNABEL – KEEP IT UP You have a strong and valid message and I want you to continue voicing it.

  56. How pathetic! Her work is amazing…I don't suppose they got close enough to read the messages quilted on the naked flesh. I have never seen one up close but have watched videos of Annabel explaining her procedure, and it seems that the messages are an important part of the quilt. Michael Angelou will be turning in his grave.

  57. Ah yes, only in North America where we are inundated with images of violence, destruction and young nubile bodies. Sadly I am not surprised by this censorship. The reaction to this work is a commentary in itself. Interesting.

  58. What an incredibly outrageous situation! I honestly can't believe it. If it weren't so absolutely detrimental to the issue of art quilts being seen as fine art, as they should be, it would almost be funny. I can just see these pathetic women, shaking with fear as they try to hang this piece.

  59. I had to go back to read one more time – just to check that the quilt was sent to the US. For a moment there, I was sure the World Quilt and Textiles was arranged in a very different part of the world.

    I am SO looking forwards to seeing Annabel's quilts "live", as I understand they do make a strong impression on most people. Hopefully next year in Birmingham?

  60. Hi everyone, Thank you for your supportive comments for Annabel's work. I know she'll catch up with the blog and will really appreciate them. She showed a number of the 'Life' series at Festival of Quilts (NEC) this year but I know she'll show the whole collection together once they are all complete. It'll be an amazing sight!

  61. I will reply properly on my blog when I've had an update from Mancuso. But in the meantime, I'd like to say a huge thank you to your all for your wonderfully supportive comments. I really appreciate your thoughts and good wishes; it's really good of you all πŸ™‚ Annabel x

  62. Oh my…she is a cracker isn't she? Our children were born in the 70's but I still remember every one of them as babies. Time goes way too fast…treasure every second! Now? I think they must be older than us! They are certainly wiser…

  63. Both my husband and myself were so impressed by Annabel's work when we saw it at the NEC this year (and I remember the quilt in question from last year too). I was one of those who cried when I saw them! Very moving and very much ART! I had always understood that Americans can be prudish, but this idea of a warning and a curtain is just ludicrous. My personal inclination in these circumstances would be not to send my quilt – but then many, more sensible, people would be deprived of beautiful moving, and thought provoking work.

  64. Unbelievable! I was very moved by Annabel's quilts at FOQ- they are stunning, moving, beautifully made and make me feel glad to be a normal, 40something woman with lumps and bumps and not an airbrushed model. Annabel's quilts tell a story and we all have a story or two to tell! They felt really triumphant to me and it makes me mad that someone felt the need to hide them.x

  65. This looks such great fun. The class was too far away for me to attend, and I would have so loved to be part of it. The work looks fantastic and inspirational. I would be most interested to see how the fabrics are subsequently used. Such a delight to see the talent, skills and artistry of women being displayed on fabric. Long may it continue!

  66. Really interesting exhibits. Ron Mueck's work is so realistic it's a bit unnerving. Would love to see his hands. How lovely to see that they're not being hidden at all. Imagine! πŸ˜‰

  67. Hard to believe a year has gone by already! Amelie gets more lovely everyday- your photos really made me smile. As lovely as my kids are, they are 17,16 and 12 now so they don't have the cute factor!!! Happy Birthday Amelie xx

  68. Happy Birthday Big Girl…time has flown hasn't it? I agree about the cute factor…ours are 41, 40, 38 and 36… and it doesn't seem possible that they are that old. In fact I could swear they are older than we are now!
    Enjoy every single minute…even the unpleasant sleepless ones. Time is a thief and steals from right under your nose!

  69. She is adorable!!!! And so lucky to have so many surrounding her that give her so much love!!!! I've enjoyed seeing her grow this past year!!! Thanks for sharing her with all of us!

  70. No doubt you think the same, but can it really be a year?! Thank you for sharing Amelie's first year with us, it's a joy to watch her develop. From the blogs and photos it obvious she is growing up in a richly inspiring environment and I'm sure will become as artistic and talented as her family! With that gorgeous smile she'll melt hearts wherever she goes..!!

  71. Congratulations on the new space!!! I know first hand how exciting this is. My secret is that we are building an out building (a cottage) for me to create in. Much less expensive than a new house and just the right size. I have been resisting the urge to go to tag sales and thrift stores to look for cupboards or tables. I know that I could fill the place up four times over with "treasures". Looking forward to photos of your new digs. Have fun!

  72. See, never believe what your mother tells you about vegetables- they ARE poisonous.
    I love the pictures in the previous post – I don't have much stuff left from the sixties, but I DO have my Spirograph, still pristine in its box, so I'm going to dig it out and have a play x

  73. What a great space to play with!!! I'm sure you will soon have it straight and working. I found moving everything at once meant I forgot where I put a lot of things, they hadn't migrated to a place naturally, so keep some sticky labels to hand!!

  74. I hope you soon settle in and manage to find everything – I spend more time tidying and looking for stuff than I ever do being productive.
    And I can't believe how big your little helper has got, she's definitely not a baby anymore, she a real little person! (From my surprise, you will probably realise I don't have kids, although I am aware that they grow) Gill x

  75. What a beautiful space!!! I love the bank of cupboards on the far wall and the fireplace with bookcases. Just pull up a chair and stitch in front of the fire this winter. Amelie is growing so quickly! Before I know it, she will be offering her own classes on DMTV and showing us her sketchbooks and cloths.

  76. We love seeing your 'space' and your life!!! You are such an inspiration to us all! Just wish you lived in the USA…I'd even fly (a few hours!) to take a workshop from you!! Thank goodness for DMTV!!

  77. I love them! The deep burgundy brown frame is a beautiful accent to the birds. I think you have just solved the Christmas gift dilemma, cushions for all! πŸ™‚

  78. The gown is gorgeous! Amelie is so funny and cute. I love the bit of tongue and that giggle photo is precious. She is growing by leaps and bounds. Thanks for sharing!

  79. Amelie is going to be such a creative young lady….just like her mom, and grandma!!! Being surrounded by music, fabric, painting and such will make her feel so comfortable and uninhibited! Perfect life…

  80. Well, Neil Young certainly doesn't predate me!
    Like you I play music all the time especially when I am sewing and my children grew up surrounded by the music of my youth, I'm happy to report that they are all creative beings!
    Carry on……………….

  81. I used to play music all the time when expecting and after when they were small. In fact all the time since too really. I was comparing a few new albums the other week with my son (just turned 27) and he actually gave me a hug and thanked me for 'giving his life an awesome soundtrack'!! Precious things.

    And that photo is adorable!

  82. Neil Young was the first performer I recorded on my (then) state of the art cassette recorder which I proudly bought with my student grant in 1971. I think it was After The Gold Rush from a radio performance. Thank you for reviving the memory. I generally have music playing when I'm working and it varies according to how much I need to concentrate on what I'm doing. I'm sure Amelie will grow up with a love of music and fabrics with warm memories of special moments surrounded by loving family. Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter's progress with us, I loved the Halloween photos. (I am now going to check out Neil Young's music for download).

  83. Life is full of bittersweet moments. Good for you to recognize and accept your 'life chapters' – may all of your next chapters continue to be full of memory-making moments! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  84. Oh my goodness! I remember making Christmas cake at 5am when mine were little! Both my boys woke at around 4.30/5am and I could cope as long as they didn't wake my daughter too. I used to get loads done, but it's the tiredness that hits around 2.30pm that was hard to deal with. If it's any consolation the older boy is still in bed at 10.30am at weekends these days:)

  85. oooh – nice gilding! I think it looks fabulous with the leaf being broken in some places, the blue showing through…I wouldn't change that at all. The perfection of imperfection and all that….

  86. You are so efficient you and your Mum, you get so much done but what has blown me away particularly here is the beautifully cleanliness of your oven! (As well as the lovely looking cake and beautiful gold quilt). I love the broken areas showing through, can't wait to see the next stage..

  87. Oh Barb, this is where I have to confess – the oven is new! It does have a self-cleaning function though which I've yet to test. I've been told in no uncertain terms by Mom that I have to keep it as pristine as this. Oh dear!

  88. Neil Young was a frequent performer in the "soundtrack of my life," so THANK YOU for sharing this recording from early in his career. I still enjoy music very much and find that having it on, especially songs that I know by heart and can sing to without thinking about it, actually enhances my quiltmaking. Even when I'm in the designing stage, it seems that I'm better able to make creative decisions while singing and listening to familiar music.

  89. Hi Laura,
    Are you by any chance the artist who's "Don"t Go" captured my heart at the Pacific International Quilt Fest in Santa Clara, California US, last month?? If you are, your quilt was my favorite of all. I can not tell how many birds have taken their last breath in my hands. I love your detailed quilting, brilliant work.

  90. Hi Ingrid, Yep, that's me! So pleased you enjoyed seeing the quilt. I hope you enjoy keeping up with progress on other things here on the blog thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

  91. A beautiful record of a fleeting moment in both your life and hers. I really like the drawing at this stage, with the edges and background unresolved. It strengthens the feeling of time passing. Do you intend to do more to it?

  92. Your drawing is beautiful- I wish I could draw even half as good! I hope your hand is better soon- terribly inconvenient for you. Always makes me laugh when doctors tell Mums of young children to rest-HA!

  93. I had this too and still flares up 6 years later. The splint did work though. My job is notetaking for Uni students with disabilities and I just thought I was getting writer's cramp didn't realise it was more serious. I do have to be careful and have found that if I don't stop when it starts to ache I lose the fine control of my fingers. On the plus side things like cleaning the oven and scrubbing dishes are definitely off the agenda, all that repetitive action is guaranteed to aggrevate my hand! My husband is not impressed. Your drawings are always lovely and Amelie a beautiful subject.

  94. Dear laura I just read you story about Amelie's quilt. I always tell my friend don't thrown it in the bin thrown it to me. I make lovely book covers from these pieces. Paint on it put, some embellish , sew some decorative stiches, ….And they are always astonish by the result of what I did make of it.
    I always give one book cover back to my friends. They love it. Sometimes I see them thinking why did not I come to that Idea. Great presents. So if you want you can throw it to me.
    Lots of love from Belgium.

  95. Hi Duffy, Oh no! The bin men have already collected the rubbish so it's gone for good. I hardly ever throw anything away but if I have any more rejects I'll give you first refusal next time! The book cover idea sounds lovely. I hope you're well and being creative. Have a wonderful Christmas. Laura x

  96. What a clever idea! Hope I remember to do this next year with my kids and grand kids! A great tradition to pass on! Happy New Year to your entire family!

  97. Happy New Year!
    I just watched the DMTV show about the poppies series. And I noticed that your background (in your studio) looks like the little holes in the poppy seed head, that open to let the seeds out…

  98. Pudding for breakfast is my favourite!!! Love the trees (especially the bits of greenery as I live in a very snowy part of Canada where spring is months away). Colouring table cloth is such a brilliant idea … a birthday motif with larger images might be great for a child's party or 'baby' themed for a shower. The possibilities are endless – how clever of you!

  99. Thanks so much for sharing the dining room table photos. Just beautiful and so filled with love!
    And the garden pics are stunning, clearly taken with an artist's eye.

  100. Laura,
    Your Xmas table and decorations look wonderful. I love the colouring cloth idea!
    Is that a ' rotary iron' I see behind you? If so , what brand is it? I have been looking for one here in Canada for ever and maybe I will have to look in the UK.

  101. I love the shots of the garden…especially the ones with the apples on the tree. We live on what is now a life style block that was once an orchard…and those are the sights I miss seeing. All the super duper best for the coming year for you and yours!

  102. I like to make the cards into books to play in, but I like your idea of gift tags. unfortunately I do not do much english patchwork, since I am extremely lazy, but I think it's a great idea.

  103. Aren't you the lucky one!! Those wooden cabinets are hard to find. Enjoy your new finds and I'll be watch for that last (or is it) eBay item (smile)

  104. I love those shallow wide drawers. Plan chests hard to find here in NZ, but I had a kitchen studio make me one to my specs, and it works like a dream with those push-with-one-finger rollers. It wasn't that expensive, though obviously not such a bargain as you got!

  105. I've already expressed both my admiration (and my envy) about your chests, but I'm looking forward to seeing what else you have coming in that I can" ooh and ah" over. πŸ˜€

    Not that iron though! I've seen those irons before (they're sold by the same fellow from whom I've bought my last two sewing machines) but they scare me! Remind me too much of those old wringer washers which I had a creeping horror of as a little girl, and then I read a story by Stephen King in which one was featured. Now I give anything with that kind of roller a wide berth. πŸ˜‰

  106. I love your new drawers! πŸ™‚ I have avoided ebay for the very reason you have said. So tempting! I am with you on the green legs. Here (USA) it is called "institutional green". There is a grey, too. All public buildings were painted that color inside when I was in school in the 50's & 60's. Still makes me queasy to think of that color and wonder if I will get called on to answer a question. Looking forward to seeing your next treat. The iron press takes me back to helping my Gram. She had one in the wash shed (and there was a wringer washer, too). Once could write good horror stories on that shed. Happy New Year!

  107. I'm with you when it comes to the travelling abroad and teaching. To me that sort of travel means a holiday, not work! Great if you can take your family and extend the visit but that isn't the case for me. Hats off to those who do it. Babies are more important.

  108. You follow Alisa, and I do to, and I also follow you for you baby steps. Grand baby is due in 4 weeks and I hope I can give her as many arty freedoms as possible so seeing how you manage will help. πŸ™‚

  109. Lovely images, and what a good idea, putting a watermark on. Would you mind explaining how you superimpose the watermark? If it's not too difficult….
    A slightly different issue – I clicked on the 'Through our Hands' logo the other day, and loved the website. However, one slight problem is that I'm finding the quite pale grey text rather hard to read. I'm a fifty-something with only averagely dodgy eyesight, so it may be an issue for others – any chance of going up the greyscale a bit?

  110. I have a 3.5 year old daughter and 15 days old son and love following you and Alisa for the inspiration of working /crafting/artist mums … We opened patchwork shop when our daughter was one and I know exactly what you're going throughwith permanent markers and ripped wadding … just wait when she masters the scissors! πŸ™‚

  111. Sounds like a good decision. I did ask Linda if you would consider putting up the last graduate portfolios for the 'old' regime. Some of my fellow students asked when they could see them on your website.

  112. spectacular set of shelves! I love those but am always discouraged from buying things like that as my husband had to help in his parent's clothes shops when he was a kid decades ago. Any thing that reminds him of a shop produce an allergic reaction.

  113. your digital drawing is wonderful. I have just started drawing with a graphics tablet, as well although I am still doing line drawings, not using brushes as you have. You have inspired me to be a bit more explorative. I got the tablet to try and get myself to do more drawing. I find that there is no blank page problem as I am not wasting paper!

  114. Laura, great post and loved the instruction on DMTV – so simple and yet so effective. I love to get my hands dirty but am curious about which app you used.

  115. That is really good, I have wanted an Ipad ever since I saw David Hockney's work at the Royal Academy, where he used it to sketch the Yorkshire countryside and used weird colours, just because it was so quick and easy to do and then go on to paint them. One day I will make the leap.

  116. Hi laura I did some drawing and they look great. I did impress all my friends with it. I love my iPad and I was wondering Laura, would it not be a great idea to do a video about how you draw it on the iPad?

  117. Amelia is a girl after my own heart and so beautiful. I don't think, from the time I was her age, that I have come inside from a walk without something in my pocket or hands. I am intriqued by the sheep's wool insulation. I had never heard of it, but it makes so much sense. How are critters and insects kept from eating it? I just love the idea of being able to go into the attic and lay down in the wool instead of the itchy fiberglass stuff they sell here in the US. Have a wonderful week enjoying whatever treasures are brought in.

  118. Hi Jeannie, I think they treat it to make it less tasty to moths etc. They reckon that it should last the lifetime of the building and not compress over time like the fibreglass stuff and was certainly more user friendly to install. It also breathes and doesn't hold moisture so much more friendly to our timberframe. We've noticed a difference to the temperature of the house already. Just the walls to do next!

  119. I often wonder about such comments. Really, at a professional level, where you are, is it really neccesary?
    I love the texture of the hand stitched circles on this new piece – and isn't that what it's all about? Perhaps these judges need to attend art critique classes to learn about how to be positive in their criticism?

  120. That has got to be a personal preference not a criteria for judging. I have never been told to sew the mitres 'shut' at any class I have attended or in any of the many (too many) books I have on the shelf.
    I have a friend who is an eminent UK art quilter who received a similar comment about one of her quilts when exhibiting in the US. The judge considered that it was 'unfinished' as it didn't have a binding at all!


  121. Hi Laura, I'm sure you'll love your new machine if you get one, I have the HQ Sweet Sixteen sit-down (looks identical) and absolutely love the space for free motion. I chose this over a stand up long-arm and am really pleased I did. I know you have your Gammil, but this is different type of quilting. Hope to see you both at Birmingham, I'm travelling over from Spain. Rachel

  122. Hi Vicki, This quilting is done on my own Pfaff, a GrandQuilter. I'm really looking forward to being able to do more on the new Powerquilter machine. We'll be demonstrating on it for four days at Fashion,Embroidery & Stitch at the NEC later this month. I might even get the quilt finished!

  123. I've been lucky enough to see these stunning cushions in the flesh so to speak. The digital printing was perfect for Jill's fabulous paintings. And she has done a wonderful job turning them into cushions.

  124. Great idea! Whenever my group talk about group projects, some people get so critical about how different people's blocks are under or over size. This would certainly be a great way to avoid such problems. Another idea I thought of that might use this would be if my painting class or the kid's group make pictures that can then be easily made into a quilt for the quilting group to collaborate on. This could be a great way for schools to make a quilt for fundraising.

  125. Just what my eyes needed on a dreary day! Thanks! I love to dye threads and started after one of the DMTV shows years ago. During the winter, pulling out the skeins that were dyed during the warm months is like a burst of sunshine on a cold day. I never thought to add more layers. Great idea! Looking forward to seeing the results.

  126. I know they will be glorious, since I have also seen you do it before on DMTV. Just thinking about it makes my fingers itch to make some. At least I won't be spending money??

  127. It's interesting to read your process, Laura. I dye thread too so I enjoy seeing how you do it. You've got lovely results with your method. I do mine (admittedly on a smaller scale!) a bit more individually and working on more analogous colours per skein. So much fun!

  128. I last dyed threads after watching one of your videos and had a lovely day creating lots of lovely coloured threads, but have another dye day soon.

  129. Hi Wietske! I usually get the mercerised cotton poplin from Watson & Thornton in Shrewsbury. I think they will post overseas but I'm not sure how expensive it'll work out to be. If you contact them, mention my name and they should know the fabric that you're enquiring about. Laura x

  130. They're stunning Laura… You and Linda are a creative breath of fresh air. Thank you for your generous giveaway! I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed for luck!

  131. Such wonderful birds – we can practically hear them singing [or drilling!]. Thank you both for painting and printing – we all are winners when you two are creative! Flavia/Washington State

  132. Watching this series grow has made me increasingly homesick, especially for the sounds of British birds – even after 25 years I cannot get used to the Australian screeching morning chorus!

  133. Absolutely beautiful. There are pleated woodpeckers in our yard all the time. Love watching them. Thanks for offering such a great giveaway. Congratulations on your 100th post!!

  134. Thanks again for always inspiring me. I bought the previous bird panels and with this new set, I see a lap quilt in the making! My aunt was thrilled with her pincushion for her birthday – thanks for making shopping so easy. πŸ™‚ Congrats on 100 posts and have a fabulous week.

  135. I would love to be able to visit your booth. Maybe one day my aunt and I will visit the homeland to see where my G. Gram lived and worked. Timing it with the NEC or the quilt show, of course! I love to use low water dyeing methods. It is like a holiday with gifts when you get to see the results. Have fun this week and I hope Amelia feels better and can wow the crowds. πŸ™‚

  136. One day I will make it over the 'pond' to see the show. I expect it would be quite silly for me to ask if any of the fabric bundles aren't sold …. I would love to buy one!

  137. Congratulations on reaching your 100th post. Have enjoyed watching Amelie growing from a baby into a toddler. I am a big fan of you and your Mom's art. See you at your booth in Birmingham this summer. Can't wait! – from one of your Canadian fans.

  138. not quite sure if Australia is too far, but love all the entries and videos I receive here via the internet bird. Cannot believe it is 100 already, congratulations from Australia

  139. That sounds like a generous offer too good to miss! I'd love to be counted in Laura, thank you.And well done on 100 posts… I've recently passed 1000 which is a bit scary! Who knew there was so much to say.

  140. Nothing like a giveaway to get loads of comments. I DO read your blog every post and have enjoyed DMTV for years!! Have a marvelous time at the show!

  141. Well done on reaching 100! Here's to the next 100!! The birds are so beautiful, they sing! It goes to prove the old saying…"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!"

  142. Name the birds! The owl is "he who gardens; the starling is Linda as she frequently draws them; Laura is the bigger woodpecker, diligently drilling away; amd Amelie is the little woodpecker who has lots of potential for drilling later!

  143. Congratulations on your 100 blog! I always look forward to the colourful photos in your blogs. Today when I opened the email and saw that brown fabric … I drooled! And all the threads looked really yummy! I wish I could be at the show!
    Wish you all the best. Hope it's a good one.
    PS: Love my velvet bird pincushions. I was supposed to give away two of the three … but haven't managed to part with them yet! Winning this fabric might help …

  144. The booth looks fabulous!!! Eye catching, tempting, and filled with eye candy. You don't know how much I wish I could be there with an empty suitcase to fill up and bring back home. I fear I wouldn't get beyond your booth what with the fabric, threads, quilts, and the sketchbooks. I could fill the day just looking through the sketchbooks. πŸ™‚ Wishing you much success, a clear nose, and everyone choosing one of each fabric. Have fun!

  145. Have fun. It looks great and very inspiring. I am so sorry I can't be there. I even have to miss Birmingham in August. Instead of visiting the FOQ I hope to get a grandchild. That must be worth skipping the show this year!

  146. So sorry you are feeling rubbish when you need to be on top form.
    We take hot water, honey and lemon for the 'lost voice' problems. Hope you find something that helps.
    Thanks for all the updates on the show….much appreciated as I can't get there.
    All the best,

  147. Thanks so much for showing glimpses of the show. One day I might get to fly across the pond, but until then I love your reporting. I love (and have adopted) the saying you are embroidering on the quilt. Going through 30 years of stuff since the last move, and two pack rats means a lot of sorting and purging. The abode feels freer and much more "us" now. Have a wonderful week and I hope you feel better.

  148. I loved the saying on your quilt. At the moment I am sorting thru my 96year old mum's sewing things,
    . She belonged to the waste not want not generation who lived through the great depression and wars and kept so much that could be useful. I hate disposing of all her treasures. Thank you for the glimpses of the stand. Amazing work. Shame England is so far away from Queensland (Aust).. I'd love to go there some day

  149. Go Amelie πŸ™‚ I saw in the Tate today, a packet of huge crayons that looked like big wax crayons, but they were made out of soap so you can wash the results out easily and you can play with them in the bath. I did think of Amelie and Evie, but hesitated as I thought of all those moments when ordinary crayons would be used by mistake! I think they do mail order.

  150. Cathy – clean up might be a problem. We washed Amelie in the kitchen sink and my days of sitting on the draining board have long gone! Might have to do it in the garden and hose everyone down at the end!

  151. You are right…we do come to expect more brilliance in art work the more we become entwined in our own work!! interesting pieces! Thanks for sharing.

  152. Gorgeous!!! I really love the statement you printed on it, too. I need to have that tattooed on my hand so when I reach for something at the tag sale, I'll think twice. I never know what to say when people ask, either. I am tempted to say, the whole season of Sherlock or in two days, just to see if they are shocked. When they ask how long, do they mean from the time I had insomnia and the idea popped up? Or, when I cut the first fabric? Yes, I can get snarky. LOL! Have a wonderful week!

  153. Wonderful work! I like everything, but in particular the hand embroidery on the vase, which so beautifully captures the impression of crackled glaze. I share your feelings about the Question, and Jeannie has a good point: when did the work start? I mulled over my latest quilt for two months before I got started. Does that count? I also have a pet hate for the question: "Was it difficult?" How does one define difficult? I usually answer, no, but it takes patience, time and passion. Have a great week, and thanks to both you and Linda for all your inspiring work!

  154. This is beautiful and full if texture and meaning, linda. It is a silly question, isn't it? I have a pet hate of.. 'You must have so much patience. I could never do that'… because the person saying it is using my work as an excuse to not have a go. but about the time question, just tell them 'oh fifty (or so) years' because you would never have come to the point of making it if you had not lived your life the way you did.

  155. It took lifetimes to make. It is a tiny speck of who you are and how you see the world. This is based on all you have lived, everyone you have met (or not), your dreams, values, what you have learned and your dreams aspirations yet to be born.
    The art is $12,000. The background is priceless. Neither can be duplicated.
    ~ Christina in Cleveland (price is arbitrarily low)

  156. this looks lovely. I heard an embroidery 'name' answer the question with: "about 30 hours….. plus 25 years"
    its all the practise, learning and input which allows some techniques to be done 'quickly' cough!

  157. I saw some work printed on paper of textile art/embroidery, and honestly it was so hard to tell the difference. I could see the warp and weft, every stitch. It makes it more affordable than the original, and in limited number makes both of them retain their speciality.

  158. I purchased a few original watercolors and I have purchased prints. It all depends on the monthly budget and how much I love something. I think by providing a variety of quality products bridges the gap for those who can afford the original, and those who want to support the artist by whatever means possible. I know that the cloth I have purchased from you has deeper meaning than cloth purchased off the bolt. I remember you discussing it on DMTV, or watched Linda use the inspiration from a photo for sketchbook work and then a quilt. It is like using an ancestor's thimble, or piece of cloth from a special dress, it has deeper meaning. I have yet to make anything of it, but it is on the worktable waiting for inspiration. Someimtes just looking at the fabric inspires something totally different, but inspiration all the same. Not selling out at all, just broadening your audience.

  159. Funny you should bring this up Laura. I recently was in a group exhibit in our local library. Three people wanted to buy my piece; it was a nice problem to have. It is a photograph I took of a totem pole in Northern BC and I printed it onto fabric and incorporated it into a large 'whole cloth' and stitched back into it and then painted back into it with oil sticks . So I suggested that I could do two more 'on a theme' so to speak. I have completed two more and each time something new and exciting turns out! Everybody was happy and I made two more sales because of it. Here is a link to the first piece that caused all the stir!

  160. I would have jumped at those tulips, too. Who cares how long they last? They are gorgeous. I am guessing that a lot of photos were taken. Amelie is growing by leaps and bounds! She is so cute in her new dress with Bear. It will be adorable in the Cupcake fabric. Perhaps teacups on the bodice and cupcakes on the body of the dress? πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful week.

  161. Thank you Laura. It was the fixing to the wall bit I was curious about. I know security, sadly, has to be considered and I liked the way they seemed to float on the wall. Seems like a great idea. Unfortunately my quilts are to be hung in a 12C chapel and I don't think I can put holes in the walls!! lol. Looks like I'm back to the suspended batten and cable tie idea.

  162. Hi Amanda, Years ago we exhibited in a church and couldn't fix anything to the walls. We found there are a surprising number of hooks and nails in old buildings though! We used copper wire to be as in keeping as possible and suspended things that way. It all looked pretty good, but certainly a lot more of a challenge than a conventional gallery! Good luck with the exhibition. x

  163. Thanks Laura! I'm terribly lazy about this aspect of quilt making, and I need to get better and more professional, so thanks! But, what's a batten?? Wood? What size? What kind? Signed, clueness in the usa

  164. Funny question… have you ever done an tree or anything like that? I can't get beyond the Kemshall info and I've stumbled across your blog searching Kemshaw….

  165. Kurt died at just about the time my son Will (aged 13 at that time) discovered Nirvana, I remember him being truly shocked, he is still playing his music as a requiem! Pleased to say that he also plays the music of my yoof as well, dreamy Neil Young!

    Marion x

  166. Sounds very exciting! I have needed the sister quilt to my Don't Go for a year but I know you have been so, so busy!! I think I am now content in what I have and knowing life changes, even to the ultimate as you know what me wanting that other quilt signifies.

    I'm looking forward to seeing a new family collaboration!!

  167. Pardonay Mois? Mad???? Well, ok, on a bad day I do make people twitch and I have seen them back slowly towards the nearest refuge – you know the kind of thing, bus stops, Salvation Army meeting points, thick trees, cupboards under the stairs, etc. Are you vexed m'dear? And are you absolutely SURE we can't persuade you to share? No? OK, perhaps one for next time we share a bottle of wine or a box of chocs!! xx

  168. That writing it all down and getting it all off your chest is so cathartic you don't have to do anything with it but it out of the way and gone and makes you feel so much better.

  169. Wow, this looks like it's going to be a stunner!

    As for your rant – well, I'm guilty of posting a rant or two on both my blog AND Facebook (although my personal page, never my business page); but in truth, I feel it's best to not put that out into the world – there is so much unkindness, anger, tragedy in the world already, why add to it?

    On the other hand, if you ever need to let 'er rip, well, a: it's YOUR blog, do as you will and b: sometimes you just have to or you'll explode! πŸ˜‰

  170. I have a question. I think you said when you sew the binding on that on the first line of sewing you stop 1/4 inch away from the edge but when coming down the second line, after you have folded the binding, that you don't leave a 1/4 from the edge – is that correct?

  171. Hi, yes when you start the second side of the corner you can begin the line of sewing right from the edge of the quilt, no need to step in 1/4". When you get to the next corner stop short 1/4", fold the binding and off you go again. Laura x

  172. What a feast for the eyes! I love visiting the nursery, if for nothing more than the color filled inspiration. I don't know if you can find Coral bark maples in England, but they are a beautiful investment. Their firey coral bark against a winter snow compliments the red twig dogwood beautifully. I live in the desert area of the Pacific Northwest (about 275 miles southeast of Catherine). Yet, I have brought my native Seattle plants with me – ferns, hostas, heuchera, trilliums, jack in the pulpit, etc. A piece of my Grandmother's garden has followed me here. πŸ™‚ Have fun in the garden! Perhaps Amelie needs a duck or two?

  173. Rare beauty indeed! I tend not to care for gold (my Mom was heavily into French Provincal), but the gold leaf on this piece is amazing. It sets off the orchid beautifully. Pth to the judge. Some people really do need to get into the real world.

  174. I see Amelie will be a featured artist on DMTV soon. I love how children create with abandon. We all need to learn to color outside the lines a little more often. Thanks for making me smile.

  175. The box looks fab! But, I'm going to come round unannounced just so I can lift the lid and peer inside. Very useful place for a toilet – can be seen clearly from inside and outside the house – hope you're providing visitors with an umbrella though.

  176. I like the idea of a bigger bobbin, and the fact that it's wound on a separate piece of kit. Bobbins seem to run out so quickly on a normal machine. I don't like a stitch regulator either – I like to feel I'm in control (or not on occasions!) of stitch size so it's good it's not compulsory. Mmmm, definitely on my wish list, as I'm a Pfaff fan. A x

  177. I read the entire magazine "cover to cover". What a great job putting all that wonderful information together. I especially liked the articles. Hope to read more in the future. Congratulations on a job well done.

  178. It's beautiful Laura, she will treasure it. My girls took their quilts to Uni and still have them even though they are in their 30's! She will grow to love every stitch you have made. X

  179. This is really beautiful. I'm finding your tutorials really useful. The combination of photos and text really works for me as I can puzzle over bits I don't get and expand it so I can work it out. Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  180. Thanks for a wonderful tutorial. I love to hand quilt and embroider. You've inspired me once again to pull out some cloth and start stitching. Then, I watched Linda's show and I want to have a go at gouache and India ink. How I wish for a 36 hour day. Thanks again and have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.

  181. You talk a lot of good sense. I too do not trust fade out markers. I have had them leave a bleached line on a purple and green quilt, and I am not sure whether it was the pen reacting with the fabric, or whether it was left in the sun, and the heat triggered a subsequent reaction. I also suspect these pens accelerate the degradation of cotton fibres, leading to the fabric rotting. Much more sensible to use an old fashioned pencil, and wash it afterwards! After all, we are women! This is what we do! Well done

  182. Looking forward to the new DMTV segments! I have really enjoyed this particular series….it's so great to see the process from start to (almost) finished!! And really wish I lived close enough to attend the Festival of Quilts or to attend one of your workshops,

  183. Hi Annabel, I think you would have loved it. Next time they open I'll let you know and perhaps you can come over. You can come and do your thing in mine too – bring your weeding trowel! x

  184. Hi Elizabeth, I believe it was built in mid 16th Century and was until relatively recently part of the Davenport Estate being the home of Lieutenant General Sir Oliver Leese and Lady Davenport. It's a beautiful property and I would love to see inside! The gardens that we see today were developed by the current owners over the last 50 years.

  185. I see she enjoy the use of the table-top as well as the sketchbook. What brand are those water-soluble pencils? I would love to get some for my grandchildren.


  186. I bought one of these and mounted it on the moving surface of a Grace long arm table that I originally bought for my Bernina 820. I did buy the stitch regulator which will not work as a stitch regulator but which allows me to start and stop the machine from the control module that sits on the top front of the machine. I am thrilled with it. I am learning to regulate the length of my stitches which I have always done with the 820 on a table…different skill set but with skill sets they just take practice, practice and more practice. I did not buy the table with it. And… I like the bobbin winder and the size of the bobbins. Love, love this machine and I have been a BERNINA gal! Still love my Bernard for all the other parts of a quilt. I should mention I quilt on painted canvas quilts and I had no problem…no skipped stitches or snarls or nests. I'm on facebook if anyone has questions…Betty Hahn with the toucan for a face!

  187. I love that smiling face. It doesn't matter what the weather is or my mood, a pic of Amelie grinning brings on the sunshine. Watching children create is fascinating. Their concentration (albeit short sometimes) and imagination is something I want to recapture. Once when my nephew was visiting and bored to tears as we don't have cable TV or video games, I asked him if he wanted to paint. We went and filled a box with art supplies and for the rest of the visit I didn't hear "I'm bored". At 29, he still talks about that visit and the leave prints, walks along the river, and the art making. Music to an Aunty's ears. πŸ™‚

  188. Thank you for telling us the brand of the pencils Amelie is playing with in last blog post and here as well. They have jsut arrived and I'm sure my daughter will love them … She very much enjoyed my Inktense crayons as well, but these ones she can use whenever she wants, Inktense were just a treat!!! I'm a sewing and creating and blogging mother as well, and it's so nice to read every now and then about the kids and be inspired by other creative mums!! Thank you very much. Vendulka

  189. Hi Laura. This plant was a mystery to me, so I looked it up and it's a kind of salsify. it seems to be pretty widespread! Such a lovely shape.

  190. That was exactly what I was thinking about … cleaning the mess… our daughter has still at age four quite short attention span, and it's amazing how much mess kids are able to do in those 10-15 minutes they have the patience to paint!!!

  191. I sure wish the Concord still flew so I could hop on a flight for one of your classes. πŸ™‚ (If I could afford that, I could also afford the beach bungalow.) Your students created some beautiful pages. The building interior is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your fun class.

  192. This made me laugh out loud! Perhaps she need painting pants as well as smock? I like the yellow legs being painted by a lime green hand. I also liked her nubby rolling pin. I see a trip to the children's section of the craft store is in order. Thanks for the giggle.

  193. a Google search for unripe plum recipes brings up loads of ideas, including jam, chutney, pickle (and apparently a special German one). Looks like you can wash and put in freezer to deal with more near Christmas when you want something a bit different for gifts.

  194. l would love to do this course but money is tight these days. Your work is amazing. I have been following your blog for ages and your work just get better and better …. gorgeousxx

  195. Wow!!! Gill's pages are just amazing and beautiful. It is always so inspiring to see what your students do with their sketchbooks and inspires me to start doing something with the collection I have. Thanks for sharing!

  196. Funnily enough I see that one (the hand) on cloth. A framed cushion perhaps? Which makes me think about a couple of my kids' paintings lurking in a box somewhere…..Food for thought.

  197. Truly a delicious treasure for the studio. If I had my way, I'd toss out the end tables, and sofas and just have boxes with cushions to sit upon. Amelia brings so much joy. Have fun!

  198. Hi Laura , I totally enjoyed the through our hands magazine over lunch and a cuppa. Thanks for lots of interesting articles and an insite to other textile artist work. X:)

  199. I wish I had some now. Look so tasty. Really would fancy a plum when I see this, although I am just back from the dentist and my mouth is still stiff. Could I drink a plum.
    Great artist ore Amelie.

  200. Truly wonderful. Very excited about seeing this series. On another note, the fingerprint fabrics I ordered from you are gorgeous. I love the weight of Linda's bird prints and when snow flies here and the lure of the outdoors fades, I will be using the many panels I bought. Thank you for the free shipping offer. (I may have to buy more!!)

  201. Thank you for this challenge!!! I also have a shelf full of empty sketchbooks and this is just what I need to get going again. Plus I am going to France for 3 weeks! That'll be good motivation to get out and sketch everyday and not just take pictures. We should have some facebook site to check on progress!

  202. Ooh that's a lovely sketchbook collection! I am very strict with myself now and don't let myself buy many as I have a habit of tearing out pages to 'edit' as I go along which spoils them a bit! I definitely need to draw more so I will attempt the challenge too πŸ™‚

  203. I want to join in too but am just about to start module 1 creative quilting course so am concerned about taking on too much…… maybe it will fit in though and support the design process? I have some lovely sketch books that need filling.

  204. Laura – I'm inspired by your drawings, but in post holiday blues and tiredness so my good intentions blah blah blah ….

    Still, September isn't over yet so I could still shine a bit.

    Meanwhile happy birthday to Miss Amelie. Is her birthday the 9 th? In which case she shares it with my son. ( well he was 26, not 2 but you get the drift) September is a great month for a birthday IMHO.

  205. Laura, do you remember the drawing sessions you did on dmtv about 2years ago? It would be so useful if you repeated the or did them as an archive. They were so helpful

  206. Have been very inspired by your daily drawings. I started reading them on holiday and so wished I had taken my sketchbook (we flew and was worried about the baggage allowance) I have now joined the flickr group and will be uploading asap. Did my first sketch last night catching up with the Archers omnibus and a large mug of tea. Was intrigued by the pencil you are using here. What make is it?

  207. Hi Laura my question is what is the sketch book your using. I like that it is landscape but I can never seem to find any landscape style. Loving following your daily drawings so inspiring. X:)

  208. Thanks Laura – it is always fun to have a peep into another artist's kitbag! I love a propelling pencil, but a propelling pencil that has its own sharpener AND is retractable – I gotta get me one of those!!! Love the broody, moody quality of the swallows page.

  209. I too have been gathering photos of sunflowers. I am not able to participate in the sketching group right now, but this winter I'll have time on my hands and a perfect time to remember the flowers of summer in sketch. Amelie's highog is wonderful. (I am coveting those chemist jars!)

  210. Looks like Cornish ware to me, but Cynthia Macnair in Canada would know as ceramics used to be her thing.

    If it is I think it's got all trendy and collectible in which case you nabbed a bargain.

    Btw decided to not even try your DD challenge for September but to clear the decks and see if I can manage my own for October.

    I see the cricket pavilion is taking shape and you've published the dates for your next classes. Just sorting out my diary.


  211. Hi Hilary, Yes, we thought it was Cornish too, but it's more navy and cream so I'm not so sure now I've Googled it! Either way, it's a nice little piece. I hope you will try a little drawing, my tip is just to keep it simple and work fast so it doesn't eat up much time.

  212. Maybe Damp Drawing would be a better name for the technique? It looks fantastic and inspires me to give it a go when I get back from our extended tour across the USA. I love drawing using the cross hatching technique, but usually use black fine line marker, so this is a lovely variation on it. What a great idea of yours!

  213. Hi Laura, thanks for the info I have purchased one from ebay (A5 Landscape Seawhite Black Cloth Hardback Sketchbook) it was good value for money with lovely paper. I just wanted to have something different than the regular A5/A4 Sketchbooks I usually work in. However, I will have to check out the website for the sketch book you are currently working in. You can never have tooooooooo many X:)

  214. What a beautiful house and garden, there must be so much history associated with it. The bridge looks like a Monet painting – must take a team of gardeners to keep it all looking so beautiful. How lucky you were to be able to explore it.

  215. I love stuff like that – wonder about the moment and reason for the man stuffing the packet in the wall. Great stuff! And the bee nest is incredible, never heard of it before, isn't nature wonderful.

  216. What fun! I have leaf cutter bees in my yard, as the rose leaves bear evidence to, but I have never seen a nest. It is a beauty! Years ago I salvaged a rocking chair from my uncle's barn. It had been my Great Grandfather's and my Dad remembered his grandfather reading the Sunday comics to him in the chair that was in front of the fireplace in the kitchen of the old dairy farm. While I tore the rotten leather and stuffing off, I collected the dimes, tokens, etc. and made a shadow box of treasures for my Dad. I gave him the reupholstered chair and the box on his 75th birthday. I think he loved the shadow box more than the rocker! πŸ™‚

  217. Great tales, Laura, thank you. I've never heard of leaf cutter bees in Australia. So was/am fascinated and I love imagining Mr Thompson (let's call him Harry) rushing back to his building tasks after checking his wages were correct. I also imagine the empty packets (pay & ciggies) were of no interest once the contents had been extracted. Love your blog & your work.