Sunday, July 24, 2011


Last week I spent a lot of time working on my piece for the traffic box project.  I spent most of yesterday working on it, too (except for a brief period of helping the neighbor pick cherries off his tree. He had a bumper crop this year and now I have five bags of cherries to "process").

This project has been about jumping hurdles along the way.  I submitted a drawn design but then I actually had to figure out how to make it.  One of the hurdles that took me a while to figure out was how to inset a piece with several different right angles.  As you see in the picture below, I wanted the green piece to be all one piece with no seams.

There are a couple rough points (which I hope I can smooth out in the quilting), but not bad for not having done that before.  (This pictures is actually oriented upside down).

Another hurdle, which I mentioned before, was trying to get the lines of some things to match up on both sides.  I've done the best I could on this matter but have to wait til all the quilting is done and trimming and edging to see how close they are.

Yesterday I started doing some hand stitching, before the quilting.  I was purposely trying to make my stitches different sizes and with different angles, but was finding it hard to do that.  Then I started working on the quilting.  I'm doing free motion quilting and am thinking that when this gets enlarged the "quilt police" will look at it and say "Her stitches are uneven."  I'm getting over that mental hurdle but reminding myself that most people looking at it won't be sewers or quilters.

I am trying to jump the last hurdle of time, because I am trying to finish this before our visitors arrive on Tuesday afternoon.  I'm not quite a third of the way done with the quilting on both pieces of the diptych. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cool Display

While my parents were visiting, one day we went downtown and Anna and I went into the store called Anthropologie. It has clothes for women and some housewares. I still think that is kind of a weird combination, but maybe it works for them. I've only been in the store a couple of times, but they always have interesting displays in the windows.

This one was strings with lots of paper circles attached to them. The next one is a picture of a window display from the outside. If you look closely (not at the beautiful daughter who knows how to pose) at the window, you might be able to see that the square colors are 3D paper pieces that recede back into the store. So cool. I should have taken a picture from the inside. Great inspiration.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jumping In

It is suppose to hit 100 degrees here this week, so it is a good thing that they "officially" opened the Boise river for floating this past weekend. I'm sure many people jumped in their inner tubes and rafts to float the river. Ill bet some people were even brave enough to jump in the icy water.

This past week I got my sewing studio back in working order (transforming it back from the guest room) and jumped right in on starting my piece for the traffic box design. I pulled out lots of blue scraps to jump into my own "river". I'm afraid it hasn't been flowing as quickly as the Boise River.

The whole technical process is very interesting and a bit stressful, as I know that the design will be scanned and enlarged and any mistake will be magnified. The largest piece that they can scan is two feet by three feet. I did the math and figured out that to make it scale proportionally, I'll have to create a diptych, which I didn't really want to have to do. Each piece will be two feet by three feet and I am trying to work it so that my lines meet up on both sides of each piece. If I can do it and it doesn't get messed up in the scanning process, then the lines will look continuous all the way around the box. I'm not sure how successful I'll be matching the lines once I start doing the quilting, which will distort the fabric somewhat.  I'll just have to continue on and see.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gray Day

Today is another Twelve by Twelve reveal day of their color theme gray (or grey). I thought that was such an interesting and challenging color choice. I found it even more challenging to try to dye gray fabrics. It's hard to get a "true" gray, what we think of as gray. More often, I ended up with "grayed" down colors like blue-gray, red-gray, green-gray, etc. They are all handy to have.

I thought about what to do with this gray theme, but didn't think I would have time to get around to making a "play-along" piece this time. But Sunday night, I started and finished this piece, which is actually 12 x 12" for the first time, I think.

Cloudy Day
hand dyed fabrics, machine pieced and quilted
12 x 12"
© 2011 Lisa Flowers Ross

I liked how this turned out. It looks more blueish-gray, but the top and middle fabrics are more gray. The bottom fabric has the most color with some green in it as well. It represents a cloudy day with rain, and to me it seems very calming.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


We had a cool, wet spring and got the vegetable garden in late. Our service berry tree was late to ripen this year, too. The berries are usually ready in mid June. They are ready now and I made service berry pancakes for breakfast today.

Years ago we selected the tree at a nursery because it was native to Idaho and would produce berries. We didn't know much about them. You can eat them plain, but I think they have more flavor in the pancakes. The nursery person said some people make service berry jam. We'd have to pick almost the whole tree to have enough to make jam.

The birds really like the berries, too. We've told the birds they can have the berries near the top of the tree, but we get the ones at the bottom that we can reach. I don't think they listened to us. There was a bird that was sitting on a branch not too far away from me when I was picking them this morning. It was picking berries, too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Color Fields #9

Color Fields #9
hand dyed fabrics, machine pieced
fused applique, machine quilted
© 2011 Lisa Flowers Ross

Since I am having company, I haven't worked on anything new recently, besides my chalk art drawing.  (News flash: my daughter won first place in the student category for the chalk art event!)  This is another piece in the Color Field series.  This piece is a bit different than the others.   The squares are fused on and I didn't do very much quilting on it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. My parents are visiting and we have been doing several things. Saturday morning we went to the market. Sunday night we enjoyed The Complete Works of Shakespeare at the outdoor theater.

Today Anna and I participated in the chalk art event for the second year in a row. It's fun to see what people draw. I have been trying to decide for a couple of weeks what to do. Last year it took me several hours to do my drawing. This year I was thinking of doing something involved again but decided to go with something simpler (as I am not feeling up to par right now). So here are some random pictures.

Above is featured artist Liz Wolfe working on a portrait of Betsy Ross.

Anna decided to do a more ambitious cat theme this year.

Here is my simple marble game. I thought it was great that a couple of young kids tried to pick up a marble.

Another picture created by a featured artist, Karen Bubb.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Here are some bronzes and some grays and blacks. For me it is hardest to get tans and grays.

After all the fabric is ironed and folded neatly, 98 yards of fabric really doesn't look like very much!