All posts by Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Tech Talk: Machine Embroidery

The topic of today’s technology in art creation post is machine embroidery. Some people have pretty strong opinions about the look of machine embroidery and I didn’t use to be much of a fan myself.  However, when I decided to invest in a new machine and started researching options, I became more interested and I purchased a quilting / embroidery machine.  The embroidery offered opportunity to create patterns, customize gifts, and add simple designs for quilting on finished projects. Continue reading Tech Talk: Machine Embroidery

WIP: Studio (re)Organization     

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

Organizing a creative work space can be a challenge.  Keeping it organized even more so. Even when everything has its place, there are often times when not everything is in its place. At any given time there might be projects in different stages of completion, tools that were recently used Continue reading WIP: Studio (re)Organization     

Take a Hike

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

The phrase take a hike has taken on an idiomatic sense of dismissal “Beat it. I’m tired of talking to you. Go away. Take a hike.”

I am using it in the more traditional sense of taking a walk, getting out and exploring.  Sometimes it is just necessary to get away from what you are doing to shake off the stiffness and clear the cobwebs. Taking a hike is good for both physical and mental fitness. Continue reading Take a Hike

Tech Tuesday: Basic Photo Editing

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

Increasingly my quilting preference is realistic art quilts from photos.  Photography has been a hobby since I bought my first SLR camera in high school. We don’t need to discuss how many years ago that was. I have progressed from that first camera, a well-loved and well used K-100 Pentax work horse, through a series of digital cameras Continue reading Tech Tuesday: Basic Photo Editing

WIP: Fabric Dyeing

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

With the snow fast disappearing, I decided that I’d better get in another session of snow dyeing before I lost the chance for the season. I had intended to get into the city to pick up some more supplies but didn’t get the chance so I had to work with what I had around because the weather forecast was calling for more rain. I decided to experiment with what I had around the house. Continue reading WIP: Fabric Dyeing

Creating Creative Inspiration

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

I have been trying to write my weekend post for a few days but nothing has been working.  I have started a few articles.  Some of wondered off on unrelated, and sadly uninspired tangents.  A few have been added to my ‘need to develop’ file.  Others might work for a collection of random ideas in a summary piece.  A number of the promising starts just were not working for me – at least not yet.  It seems that the only thing to do is let the ramblings take me where they want to go today and use this lack of creative stimulation as my starting point. Continue reading Creating Creative Inspiration

WIP: Quilting with Kits

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

Weekly Work in Progress

For this week’s work in progress, I have chosen a quilt called Holly Lane, from The Quilt Company.

Image of the completed Holly Lane quilt, using the kit.

I have had this one packed away for some time.  I took it out to cut and complete for Christmas 2017 but I completed only one block before I had to put it aside to meet demands of client work and gifts.

I decided at that time that this would be a perfect project to work on during the cold winter months Continue reading WIP: Quilting with Kits

Create daily

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

When you are trying to learn a new habit, or replace an old one, evidence shows us that it takes a minimum of 21 days of consecutive practice.  As a former language and music teacher, I know it is more effective to learn these forms of expression with regular daily practice rather than with marathon sessions just before a lesson or performance. Continue reading Create daily