A whirlwind Month!

I officially moved to Bedford Jan 15, 2018. I’m still splitting my time between Little Old Lady Quilting Studio and our home in Fairfax where my husband is still living and working. I feel a little like Cinderella, or like I’ve died and gone to heaven!

I have not kept up with this blog on a daily basis as I hoped, but only because I have been so focused on getting all the things done that need to be ready to open my business officially at the Grand Opening scheduled for March 31, 2018.

One of the things that attracted me originally to the place was the two seperate buildings on property adjacent Route 43 ( Peaks road) the major thoroughfare between the Blue Ridge Parkway , the Peaks of Otter Lodge, and beautiful historical downtown Bedford, Va.  We could live in the single family unit to the left, and I could have a 900 sq ft studio /gallery to the right. All of it is Handicapped accessible. (I have “spine issues” and will be in a wheelchair eventually so it is good to plan ahead!) Plus the property had already BEEN a craft and gift shop and was known for such in the community.

Of course, as with any old home, there are going to be a lot of little things that need to be fixed to bring it up to date and to make it work for  one’s current needs.  Even with a complete inspection before we purchased the property here, we were surprised by a few things that have added significantly to the expenses of getting the Little Old Lady Quilting Studio ready to open.

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Our new home and studio in Bedford, VA

 

The inspector mentioned a few boards in the handicapped walkways that lead into the buildings that “were not 100% sound and may need to be replaced.”  BUT… it turned out (after I fell through one of them) that they are almost all rotten throughout and the entire walkway and deck needs to be rebuilt. $$$ This has to be done before I can open the business to the public.

It also turns out according to our many friendly neighbors, the property had been sitting empty much longer than we were told by the real estate agents. Our first order of business was to deal with the MASSIVE Stink-bug invasion. This has been an ongoing issues with treatments every couple of weeks. EVENTUALLY they will go back outside and we will be able to seal up as many of the escape routes as possible. The Stink-bugs are just a fact of life here in the county.  They can be dealt with… one day at a time.

The next unexpected issues was major…. under the studio crawl space ( which the inspector cursuri looked at  but did not really  inspect)  turns out that there was water damage that lead to major mold and fungus problems. We had to remediate and encapsulate that plus add in a dehumidifier system in order to be safe for myself and clients in the building. Turns out there is also a fungal problem in the living cabin and so they will have to spray and treat that  in the coming weeks as well.

In spite of these major expenses and setbacks, this is STILL the most perfect place we could have found for Little Old Lady Quilting.

I have been able to get into the studio and create a lot. I have been working to build my inventory of thread painting and artwork as well as home decor items.

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Big Otter Mill – Bedford ( SOLD)

 

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The Knolls Pillow Series

 

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My fun placemats and napkin sets

 

I’ve also been showing (and selling) my work at the little gallery in town — The Electric Company Art & More located at 207 E Depot Street in Bedford, VA . I currently have several pieces in the 4th annual Curry/Bower Exhibit at the  Bower Center  for the Arts (and sold one of them!)

 

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Lazy Summer Day at the Lake – (SOLD)

I am about to Open Little Old Lady Quilting Studio to the Public with a Grand Opening March 31, 2018 11:00 am until 3:00 PM

I am also slated to be the Featured Artist for April in a solo Show of my new works at The Electric Company  Art & More. I have created a new series of Wall Hangings especially for this show which is entitled Blue Ridge Visions. Each is 24″ x 9″ and based on nature images of the Blue Ridge area I love so much here in Bedford.

 

I am now a member of the Bedford Artisan Trail Network and the Virginia Artisan Trail. Very excited for the opportunities this provides me to market and reach out to the arts community here as well.

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It’s Official. I’m a member now!

And  so, life is moving ahead. I am incredibly grateful for every opportunity here, for the beauty of nature I am surrounded with, for this gift of time to make art and build a business and life here in the area I love so much!

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

Art as Inspiration

I began my visual art career as a painter mainly creating landscapes using oil Pastels. I loved the texture and the ways you could blend them (and the vibrant colors available.)

What I didn’t really like about painting was that a viewer can not touch it, feel it, explore it. I branched out into silk wall paintings that became quilted tapestries. From there explored traditional quilting techniques,  and finally have landed in my niche as a art quilter who also LOVES incorporating  thread painting in many of my works.

Most of my art these days is base on my original artwork that I am “transcribing” into fabric art. Art that IS touchable as far as I am concerned.  I also work at times from photos of places and properties that people would like commemorated in a thread painting.

My latest series of wall hangings are based on a series of paintings I did years ago. I loved the format and felt that they would transcribe well into the art I am doing today.

 

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Here you see the sketches I prepared on muslin to begin this series of paintings. i too liberties to change and add things as I went. After I do a pencil sketch I then go back with Sharpies and suggest color combinations. With my new design wall I am able to lay out all the 6 wall hangings side by side and and work on them all simultaneously. This helps me coordinate colors across the series as well as keep changing things up . 
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Here are the 6 wall hangings after I have done the preliminary layers of fabrics to define color and specific areas. Under them you see the photographs of the original artwork – all sold now and no longer available to me. ( Thank goodness, my husband Michael Putnam keeps meticulous photograph records of all my creations!)

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

Taking Time for One’s Self…

This weekend I have been laid low with body issues. I have a  degenerative spine disease which is slowly crippling me. I deal with it fairly well most days. But the drugs I take for pain management have their own side effects and so I am trying to wean myself off at least the massive doses of steroids.  On top of that it seems I have picked up some kind of stomach bug or the flu.

The good news is that I do not want to eat much right now. (I am always struggling with my weight.) The bad news is that I don’t have a lot of energy right now, so I am not getting much done in the studio.

One of my dear friends reminded me Friday that I work pretty much 24 hours day. And that I do not take time for myself often. She again told me that without replenishing the well of health and creative energy with rest and meditation and time out in the world, I can not constantly create beauty.

So I gave myself permission to take off Saturday (yesterday.) I lounged in my overstuffed love seat with the puppies in front of a fire. (It is getting colder now.) I watched old movies. I had some fresh popcorn. (I didn’t want real food.) I let my mind wander and dream. I had some wine and I slept like a baby last night. (I don’t sleep well usually.)

This morning I woke up feeling better, fresher, with my mind ready to get back to work, although my body is still lagging behind a bit.

I started work on a new tapestry/wall hanging Dogwoods.

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Dogwoods – The contrasting sketches of the dogwood flowers on a branch and in a close up image.
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Here the image is beginning to take shape. I have a lovely batik fabric that was perfect for the gnarly bark of the dogwood trees and it also picked up the lovely teal color that is the background of all three panels.

So I am back at work a little, although I promise to take  it easy today. There is no deadline for this piece to be finished… although I tend to be a person who can only work on one project at a time until it is completed and then move on to the next one.

Soon I have to begin to sort and pack my studio for the move to Bedford, VA where I will be opening my Studio/Gallery in the spring. Life is good.

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

 

 

 

Day by Day

I am in the process of  relocating my life and art to my hometown of Bedford, VA. PArt of that process is creating a body of new work to have as inventory for my Gallery that will open in April of 2018.  It is interesting to observe that as I am focused on producing  work as efficiently as possible, and in a larger quantity than I have ever worked before, my art is morphing, changing and growing into new forms I had not considered working in before.

Thread painting as an art form has been around for centuries, but I only came upon it as I was exploring ways to use fiber and quilting in smaller artworks. It has taken over my art for the time being. I am loving the ability to produce a “painting” of colored threads that is both impressionistic  and realistic and which people can easily connect to.

My latest work “Golden Moments” is about capturing the light  across fields in the Bedford countryside.

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Golden Moments – 2017  Wynn Creasy, Artist/Owner Little Old Lady Quilting. Thread Painting – 15″ x 13″ Cotton, Muslin, Glue, Thread.

My process for these is continually changing and growing. I am currently exhibiting in two different galleries The Electric Company Art & More in Bedford, VA and The Gallery at Lake Anne, Reston. I will have my own Studio/Gallery open in 2018 in Bedford, VA.

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

In the still of the night…

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Sometimes, like most of us,  I am just looking for a way to keep busy. I have these tons of scraps in my sewing room that I never know what they are from or why I have them, nor any real plans for them. But then I have spare time and a hole in my schedule and so I just HAVE to make something.

My kid sister does a lot of beautiful traditional pieced quilts. She is a real artist in the traditional quilting sense. Me, on the other hand, I prefer the actual quilting process to piecing tops. So when I am looking for something to work on, I am more inclined to make a whole cloth quilt or throw together whatever is near to make a top I can practice on.

My sister asked me to make a twin quilt that she could take to a craft market. I had these precut 5″ squares in strange colors I had picked up from a swap table at the Fairfax Quilters Unlimited meeting so I thought I would piece a simple top and a pillow case to go with. The quilting will be what ties the fabric together.

Once I get the rows pieced I  will add a border of creme muslin,  and a muslin backing.  I will then determine the patterns for the quilting. I am thinking Orange Peel for the color blocks using their edges for guides and using a variegated thread. Then perhaps a border of Leaf Meander.

Once we get back from the Drs’ today I will have a better idea of where I want to go with it…

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

 

Finding Inspiration in Everyday Things

I have been a creative artist all my life. It is not something I do, it is who I am. Perhaps it was growing up semi-wild in the mountains of Virginia and always being outside and free to learn and explore without the influence of TV and all the nonsense that people think are so important in the world today.  Perhaps I would have been that way no matter what. In spite of the somewhat difficult and tough life I have lived, I have always looked upon the world as a beautiful place to be, a safe place to grow and to learn, and a gift to us all.

 

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The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where I was born.

 

Art of many different media has attracted me. I have worked in the professional world of dance and theater.  I have sung professionally in opera and musical theater, jazz, cabaret, and big band. I have been a culinary creator. I have taught everything from music to speech, to history. I have been a professional landscape artist working in oils and pastels. And now I work in fiber art and quilt for others.

Inspiration comes for me from many places, but the primary source (besides the creator or universe or whatever you call it) is my memories of nature growing up. The variety and the intensity of the colors in nature have always inspired my palette in painting, and in my fabric works.

 

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A view of Sharp- Top and Flat-Top, the mountains I grew up in the shadows of in Bedford, Virginia

 

 

The small town I grew up in still has a small town feel. And though it has been years since I returned there, I hold it dear in my heart.

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Nature can be beautiful, it can be seductive, it can be dangerous, it can be wild, it can be sultry, it can be ethereal. All these sides of her inspire my work to be both sensuous and grounded.

 

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Moonlight can always inspire me to use color more judiciously!

 

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Sky quilt inspirations (courtesy of Liz Grohowski)

 

Whether in designing a motif for a quilt-top, or working on one of my tapestries, I try to let things happen organically and not force it. The right shape will come. And I enjoy the process of letting the work happen rather than forcing it.

I find motifs in a pattern on the leaves, in a field of flowers, in the pebbles in a stream, in a shady bank of moss on the creek bed. If you begin to see that all of life is connected by threads it is a small step to following those patterns to their artful conclusion.

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

 

 

Creating Opportunity

As part of my ongoing daily work to affirm to the universe that I am ready for more success as a professional quilter, I schedule chores that let me practice my skills while also producing useful items for my business around my quilting schedule. Sometimes I spend the time creating the paper and file systems I need for intake and management of my clients’ projects. Sometimes, I work on a specific fiber item.

This week I have taken on a special project of creating sample blocks of machine stitching for clients to touch, see, and choose from. I created bleached muslin 12″ x 12″ layered quilt sandwiches for each of the sample stitches I wanted to produce.

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I got this idea from a wonderful video series that Handi Quilter has on their website. 

After cutting and baste pinning the quilt sandwiches, I then took fabric pencil markers and free hand drew the individual stitch patterns on each panel. ( I usually just do FMQ — sew freehand, but in this case, I wanted to make sure I had a good representation of each of the stitches as a sampler.)

Here are the different samples before stitching: ( click on thumbnail to view large size)

My next step today will be to quilt them all using a colorful dark thread on top and a neutral thread on the backs so clients can see how they look both ways. Then wash and Once they are quilted, I will bind them using my overlock serger (no sew on bindings for these.) I will wash and press them to remove the markings, and then add hanging grommets and rings to make a flip book of them. It is a lot of work, but it gives my clients something concrete to see, and it gives me even more experience with what I love, quilting!

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

 

Making Space for a dream!

In my continued daily work preparing for the Universe to provide the HQ Avante 18″ Long -Arm-Machine of my dreams, I spent the holiday Monday cleaning out and re-organizing my studio space to be ready for Isabeau (my name for her) when she arrives!

I had been working on a tapestry project that was going ALL  wrong and I finally decided that it is OK sometimes to trash something in order to move on to more good in my life.

Here are pics of the NEW and Improved Little Old Lady Quilting Studio!

 

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The Far end of the studio has light in the high windows, as well as stackable “crate” shelving that can be rearranged for storage of fabric and my many research books. (Next on my to-do list: inventory the fabric and clean up that mess!) The two adjustable height tables double as a large cutting table when needed, and are also perfect for domestic sewing machine tables, as well as an ironing surface. This flooring is a floated Laminate floor – really necessary for the hours spent standing upright at the machine working.
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Here is where Isabeau will be hanging out and doing her thing! Since she comes with a 12′ foot adjustable height work table and needs a minimum of 3-foot clearance on all sides for comfort, I am lucky I have a 22′ wall on one side with lots of space for her to make herself at home!
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This is the other end of the Studio. The large rack is perfect for hanging clients’ quilts in calendar order while they are waiting to be quilted. I will be ordering some heavy duty Upholstery hangers for safe support and there is a quilted dust cover to protect them while in my custody. ( Ignore the mess on top of the rack.. lol that will be sorted and moved to storage later today.) The central door leads to a large workroom with more storage, a large utility sink, and washer and dryer for the finishing of quilts.  The third doorway ( hidden by the screen to the left) is a full bath for clients convenience. Behind the screen is another rolling metal rack which holds my 24 drawers of thread cones… 

 

 

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A close up of the sit-down work cubicle. I am so lucky!!!!! Excited to be moving on in this journey!   Thank you, Universe for all I am, all I have, and all that is coming my way to serve others!

 

Making way by cleaning out the old, by straightening, organizing, and by opening myself to the new, allows me to welcome MORE into my life.

 

Create Beauty and fill the world with LOVE!

Gifts of love

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I sang for a while in a really wonderful church choir. Singing had been my whole life and career until about 10 years ago. a combination of illnesses and life events ended my professional career, but I tried to go back to singing “for fun.” It turned out to be not be so much fun, the challenges were too great at this stage in my life. But I did get to make some wonderful friendships.

For this holiday, I wanted to create a simple gift for the choirmaster. Chad Steffey is one of the most giving and gifted musicians I have ever gotten to work with. His soulfulness is 100% genuine and his love of every person he meets is like a light in the world we live in.

This is another collection of fat quarters I bought having no Idea what I would one day do with them. I created a simple pyramid pattern trying to alternate dark and light fabrics with patterns. The challenge was using the written words of scripture in a way that made them both readable and to look like they belonged in the patterns.

The back of this throw is a single large piece of upholstery fabric that adds warmth comfort to he whole.

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It is so rewarding to be able to create things that give people a sense of myself, as well as add to their lives.

Create Beauty and fill the World ith LOVE!

Wynn

 

Making Dreams Come true

My life has been based on the belief that “thoughts become things.” I believe that the Universe, God, Whatever you want to call it is grand and wants us each to have whatever we desire. I believe that only by being very clear and concrete in our minds about the things we wish to do and have can the universe move into effect creating those things for us.

In my life, my friends and family have always always been amazed at my ability to create what I desire. Whether it was a home, the career performing I had, or remaking my life over to better suit my introvert nature. The secret has always been a directed focus and a clear vision.

And so today I put out my current vision to the universe. I am building my quilting business based on my desire to serve others well. I am determined to use my many skills and talents to create beautiful things to make the world a better place. I open myself up to all the clients that are good to work with that the universe can send me. To that end, I am open to obtaining receiving the dream Long-arm-machine that I have researched and I know is perfect for my needs and my long term future.

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This is the HQ Avante 18″ Long Arm Machine. Its current cost is $10,995.00. new.  It is one of the best machines on the market. It has some fo the best customer relations and service. We have a great quilting store near me  The Quilters Studio that sells and services them. It is perfect for large and small size projects. It is THE machine for my goals and life. and it is coming my way. In addition to the machine, Pro-Stitcher, the computerized system for quilting is a great part of running a quilting long-arm business. Many quilt top makes want a simple all over pattern for their quilts an inexpensive rate. The Pro-Stitcher allows you to do that quickly and more efficiently. The current cost for the Pro-Stitcher is $9,995.00

This company does so much to help quilters be their best. They have a youtube channel that gives TONS of tutorials and help Handi Quilter. It has become my only TV watching for a while. LOL

I KNOW the universe is working to help me have these tools for my business as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I am working on my domestic machines to continue to learn my trade and hone my creative skills. I have systems in place for the business of quilting, including a well thought out business plan, systems for receiving, labeling, and delivering clients quilts, business forms and brochures and cards, pricing sheets and invoices, and etc.

My studio is being cleaned out, clearing away old scraps to make room for the perfect space prepared for the new work I am doing. I am finishing up the last of other projects while researching and learning new techniques for my creative life.  Letting go of the old allows the universe to create new to fill the vacuum.

TODAY is all we have. Work, Plan, Prepare and be willing to accept all the good that comes your way. I am grateful to the Universe for the wonderful life I have, and for all the good yet to come my way!

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn