Sunday, March 19, 2023

Bargello Quilt Pattern

A couple of times at the quilting studio I heard someone mention a style of quilting called "Bordello" or at least that is what I thought I heard. So yesterday, I decided to search for definition online. Apparently a bordello is a brothel. I'm not going to lie, my first thought was why they would name a pattern after a brothel? LOL Really. Then, I decided I must be saying it wrong. A little more searching led me to the correct spelling of this word. BARGELLO! I love the sound of it.

So I had to know what exactly this word meant. It is pronounced like "Bar Jello". It is from a needlework/embroidery design laid in stitches that create kind of a flame or zig zag type pattern. The name originates from a series of chairs found in the Bargello Palace in Florence, which have a "flame stitch" pattern.  

This is a great example of how when we expose ourselves to one type of craft and take the knowledge into another craft. In this case quilting. I wanted to try my hand at this style so I purchased this pattern online here.  I already had the Creative Grid 10 degree triangle ruler.  The instructions seem pretty easy to understand. I think the key here is that I must keep everything organized.  I started yesterday, and I will keep you posted on how this goes. 

Saturday, March 18, 2023


 Wow, I can't believe this blog is still here! Oh I admit I have checked in a few times to view a memory or a post I recalled writing from time to time. You know, life. There is no way I could tell you everything that happened from my last post until now.  Nor could I tell you all the different creative adventures and turns I have taken. All I can tell you is where I am at now.  I love where I am at now in my creative journey.

First, we no longer live in West Texas. We transplanted Austin way in 2014. My career as a nurse brought us here and we absolutely love living in this area.  I opened an Etsy shop after we got settled here and started making tutus and baby shirts/bodysuits and all kinds of custom gifts. I dabbled with that for a while, more like a hobby and outlet from the stress of work. I finally started figuring out how to succeed in my shop daily and truly, if I had worked at it....I could have had a successful business. But, I was so bored with making the same old things everyday. I kept it up and going until this year after I discovered my new passion. Quilting and fiber arts. 

I have enjoyed sewing for years. I have sewn simple garments, curtains, blankets for my kids rooms and handbags and probably some other things I don't remember. LOL. Nasty Covid inspired me to get out my old sewing machine and dust it off and start making face masks for my family and neighbors. I ended up making about 500 masks-I was so sick of making those things. I am thankful that part of our lives has kind of passed us. Although I know it's ugly little head is still lurking.

Cut to September of last year. I had retired about two years previous. I pissed around all that time trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with my new found freedom. I was busy with my Etsy shop and driving my daughter to and from work. Just daily housekeeping etc. BLAH! I was bored and depressed. 

One day, I was out and about at a local discount store picking up cleaning supplies. As I was driving away from the little shopping area, I could see a sign in my rearview mirror. All I could read was "Quilt". So, I turned around and went in. As I walked in to "Over the Top Quilting Studio", I was immediately greeted by Susan, the owner.  She was so welcoming and friendly. She introduced me to her sister, Chris who also works there. Susan kindly showed me the studio and explained what they were all about. Before I knew it, I signed up for a class to learn how to quilt on their Longarm sewing machines. I was hooked!

I started making one quilt after another and also worked on some charity quilts. I guess I kept showing up so they finally asked me if I would like to work there part time. Would I? YES! I have learned so much from all of the ladies that work at the shop. I even took a 3 day improv quilting class called Dancing with the Wall by Irene Roderick.  

I'm in a great place now, enjoying creating again.  I entered two calls for art quilts recently and I await their responses. I will keep you posted on that. Meanwhile, I'm sewing away and I can't wait to share things that I am learning. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

About Sewing on Vinyl

The top handbag is my most recent piece of art. LOL.   Sewing on "marine vinyl" is not for the weak hearted. I had to "google" every trick in the book. You need to understand some of the basics of Vinyl before you start a project. I'm telling you this because I started the project before I knew.....which is typical of all of my projects.

First, let me just say that vinyl is sticky and does not like to feed forward. It sticks and refuses to move without feeding with your hand from the back side and pulling from the other hand from the inside. Plus, after much research.....I learned that you must get a teflon foot which helps to feed the material through. You can also tape your foot with scotch tape-but the teflon foot was like 3.00 and well worth it.

You will also want to do some trials on some pieces of the fabric (vinyl) that you are going to use to test out the tension and stitch length.

Apparently, the weight of your thread is important, and you want to use a heavy cotton thread for this type of project. I did not really get into this part and still I had some tension issues.

FORGET about pressing your seams with vinyl. It is not going to happen. There is no trick. So you need to think about that before you begin a project.  What was really difficult about the top left purse was that it required top stitching. It took me 30 minutes to pull the entire top of the purse/lining through for top stitching. I love the outcomes, but I want to learn more about how to make this project easier. I have some canvas waiting for some heavy duty lime green vinyl. Don't know if I'm scared or challenged. LOL

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Artful Handbag

So, now I think I am a handbag designer. LOL. Lately, I have been obsessed with purses and handbags-making them.  What better way to feed your obsession than with Pinterest. Handbags are so personal to us girls. I think it is funny that we cradle them like a baby when it is raining-so they don't get wet. I also think it is funny that people spend thousands of dollars on designer handbags. I could never do that.....the most I have spent on a purse is about 400.00 for a Brighton purse-and that was a moment of weakness that I really needed something special. I could not do it alone-so I recruited my husband (via telephone) to give me his support on this purchase since I was emotionally spent during a work crisis.  But, I treat this object like a baby and I find myself protecting it from the rain.....any hardships that would hurt my baby. It is just weird......but satisfying. 

Every woman should have a purse/handbag that makes her feel and original. Lately, I have been looking at all the purses you all are carrying....and there are so many designs and sizes! I have this fantasy that I will be a handbag designer and make the perfect bag. Of course I will do a survey to find out what it is that you feel makes the perfect handbag.  Then, I will set out to make the perfect purse.....but only for the artsy girls. I can't make boring, "classic", one color shit.  I will find a way to figure out what the hippie girls, gypsy spirits, and creative souls want. That is the only way I can do it. 

Picasso said, "

That brings me to my next point. I don't really have that much experience to create handbags on my I had to start with a pattern. I found a pattern to create tote bags and decided to just learn the basics so I could tweak on my own. I made two purses from this pattern by See and Sew. 

Love the tote, but I wanted something a little more original. I wanted to paint my own fabric.  I wanted to use leather or vinyl. I wanted to have something that mixed fabrics. So, I set out to paint some canvas with my designs. 

Then I had to figure out how to add the fabulous red vinyl material to this look.

I loved the look when I was done....and I was so happy that I did not follow all the rules. I started out learning all the rules of the I could break them like an artist! I am happy with my finished product. All a study in sewing, designing, and freedom of the creative process. Very happy with my results. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Clay Bunnies
I have not stopped creating or thinking about creating wonderful things. I seem to spend so much time at work that I can't get to my crafts. Art is where I go in my mind when everything else is kind of crazy. Lately, paper clay has been my art form. I have all kinds of pieces I have sculpted that need painting. I have ideas for more pieces in my head. I need to get my journals out to sketch out my ideas so as not to forget. Anyway, here are some little bunnies. I am liking blacks and whites, tans and browns lately.....lines, dots, patterns.  

We are so excited lately around the Chandler household as we are going to have our second grandchild. She is due Jan 15th. They are naming her Charlotte Rose! That is so beautiful to me. I can hardly wait to meet my little granddaughter. She is going to be born in Spain which starts her life out really cool don't you think? 

We had our one year anniversary of our move to Austin, TX. on December 24th this year. The year went so fast. It has been a great move. We love it here. I love the people, the big city and all it has to offer in terms of entertainment and activities. We do not regret our decision to move here in any way. 

My job is going great and I so love the people I work with.

The family is doing well and we can't complain about one thing! God is good. So there is your update about the long absent Funky Art Queen. 

Saturday, March 08, 2014

In The Mood For Clay

Since we moved to Austin, I have not been able to get my groove on with my crafts! I have dabbled a little in my journals and started a couple of acrylic paintings. I just don't have all my stuff organized! I may work on that today! I'm feeling like messing with some paper clay today. I started a new board on pinterest for clay art and so I have been getting all kinds of inspirations. So, maybe soon I will have something to show you!

We bought kayaks last week and we were really hoping to try them out today but it is raining! Poo! It just may be a weekend in the house! We will see.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mixed Media Collage Journal Entry

City Night Life! 
Lesley Chandler 10/15/13