Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We’re Half Way There!

Week 4 out of 8 of Kelly’s Charming Chatter Quilt Along is over today.  Our goal this past week was to assemble our quilt tops.


No sooner did I finish sewing on the last border yesterday afternoon when we suddenly lost power.  The wind picked up something fierce and the sky was an ominous dark color.  The first thing that came to my mind was…tornado.   Thank goodness that didn’t happen and the power returned about 20 minutes later so I was able to complete the ironing.


Here is my completed flimsy of Darlene’s Between Friends pattern using Moda’s Dandelion Girl range of fabrics by Fig Tree Quilts.


Tomorrow begins week 5 when we’ll receive information about what we are to do this week…quilting this little charmer.  I would think that hand quilting would be out of the question for me because of all the little joined pieces meaning too many layers to pierce.   So, before I get myself too worked up, I’ll wait to see what Kelly has to say.


And just a little reminder to come back on Friday…the First Friday of July for my newest FFF (First Friday Freebie) design.  Until then…

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Best Times…

Always turn out to be the ones that aren’t planned ahead of time.


Yesterday’s forecast called for rain all day.  Mr. Painted Quilt and I are very early risers and as we were sitting at the kitchen table having our morning cup(s) of coffee, he turned to me and said…

“So?  Do you want to go?” 

“Where?” I replied.

Isn’t this the weekend of the Vermont Quilt Festival?”


Within twenty minutes we were in the van, heading south to Burlington, Vermont.  We had initially talked about going on the Friday but after much procrastinating by me, we decided not to go.  After all, I didn’t NEED anything.  Famous last words.  Two and a half hours later, we were there.


En route, I made a short list of some of the things that I wanted to look at.  This was my third year going so I knew which booths I wanted to visit and where they were located.  We decided that Mr. PQ would head off with Mac, our Westie and come back in three hours to meet me.  As it turned out, not twenty minutes after I entered into the trade show, the skies opened up and it poured for the rest of the day.


For someone who didn’t need anything, I managed to come home with a few treasures.

My first purchase was wool…lots of it!


And more wool…


And just a little bit more wool.


I have a really cool project in mind that will be using not only some of the wool but some of these Autumn-colored fabrics as well.


It’s virtually impossible for me to attend these shows and not come away with some new ‘toys’…


See the yellow thing on the left that looks like a toothbrush?  That’s a new-fangled seam ripper that is guaranteed NOT to cut into your fabric as you are unpicking stitches.  How cool is that!

To the right of the seam ripper is an embroidery floss threader.  Not cheap but if it works, it’ll save me a lot of aggravation.

Directly under that is a little tomato pincushion with velcro on the underside that I’m going to affix right to my sewing machine bed.

Then there are two crow buttons and some wee candy cane buttons.  I’ve already sketched out a design including the crows.  I’m not promising but hopefully it’ll be ready for September’s FFF.

Then the little green tin at the top is a container of ‘Bag Balm’, a cream that is manufactured in Vermont and used on cow’s udders.  However, it is also reputed to work wonders on hands like mine…in other words for people who love to garden but refuse to wear gloves…I’m just sayin’.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

And of course how could I leave without feeding my addiction adding to my scissor collection?


I also picked up these two patterns to add to my collection.  *wink*


But you realize, I didn’t NEED anything!


From there we went for a nice leisurely lunch.  What I forgot to mention is that I was finished my shopping in about an hour and a half so I called Mr. PQ who, as it turned out, was waiting for me in the parking lot because it was raining too hard to take Mac for a long walk.  He did manage a trip to the book store but came away empty-handed.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

After lunch we went to the Christmas Tree Shop, JoAnn’s, Price Chopper for a few groceries and last but certainly not least…exhausted as I was by this time…a quick visit to The Willow House, a country/prim shop in south Burlington, Vermont.  I could have purchased one of everything in the shop but by that time I was so tired, all I managed to take home with me were these three purple Echinacea, made out of metal and guaranteed not to need watering.  *wink*


I’m planning on going to the garden center tomorrow to buy some German ivy or potato vines to add some green and to keep them company.

The flowers in the two cast iron urns are filling in nicely as well.


And just a little reminder that this coming Friday is the First Friday of the month.  The design is finished and ready to go and I’m hoping that you like it as much as I do.  I think it’s one of my favorites so far.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


You’ve already met Prudence.


When I offered to do a tutorial on how to create her face, I received many affirmative replies, so I immediately set to work.  In order to be able  to illustrate the step-by-step process, I had to create a prototype.


As a result, Persephone…Prudence’s identical twin sister was born.


Together at last!


And they lived happily ever after.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How To Create A Doll’s Face

At the outset, I’d like to share with you some words of wisdom that one of my art teachers used to say to her students…”There are many ways of right”. 

Now having said that, I am not saying that my way of creating a doll’s face is the ‘right’ way, but it is the way that works best for me when teaching students who have had little or no artistic training and are too insecure to even attempt a face.  I promise you that if you follow the steps that I am about to share with you, your doll’s face will look as good as or better than mine.


So without further ado, let’s get started.  Plan to stay awhile because this tutorial is loaded with pictures and is quite long.



1. Tracing paper.

2. Pigma Pens, size 01 (fine) in brown and black..

3. Graphite pencil sharpened to a very sharp point and an eraser.

4. Prismacolor  colored pencils in the following colors:

True Blue #903, Violet Blue #933, Crimson Red #924, Raspberry #1030 and Burnt Sienna #945.

5. Acrylic paint in dark brown and off white.

6. A paint brush suitable for acrylic paints.  e.g. #8 flat

Creating The Line Drawing

Please be aware that I am working on a large face in order for you to be able to see the various steps more clearly.  The exact same principle applies to any size of face.

1. Fold the piece of tracing paper in half vertically to find the center. 


2. With a dotted line, divide the area into 1/4’s. On the left side of the vertical line ONLY, draw the outline of the head.


It is virtually impossible for me to try to freehand the exact shape that I just created on the opposite side of my drawing.  What I’m about to show you is called “proofing” the design.

2. In order to create the exact same shape on the right side of the head as on the left, fold the tracing paper exactly along the center fold and to the left.  What you see now is the original traced design through the tracing paper.  Carefully trace the shape that you see through the paper onto the BACK of the folded tracing paper.


 3. Open the paper so that it’s right side up and re-trace the line that you see on the back to the front.  Now, both sides of the head are identical in shape and size and are symmetrical.


We will be repeating the proofing step every time we add a new element to the face.

4. The eyes are going to be positioned just below the center line. Draw an arc (a slightly stretched semi circle) which will represent the outline of the eye.


Repeating what we did in steps 2 and 3, fold the tracing paper to the left on the center fold so that the backside of the paper is facing up and the lines representing the head are lined up precisely on top of one another.  Now trace the outline of the eyelid that you see through the paper.


Unfold the paper and re-trace the line that you just made on the back onto the front.

5. Draw the eyeball and iris centered within the outline of the eye.  The upper lid line will be positioned just above the horizontal dotted line.  The ‘top’ of the eyeball should appear to be buried just under the upper lid.  In other words, you shouldn’t see two whole circles. 


Create the right eye by following the same steps as above, making sure that when you fold the paper over that everything is lined up exactly on top of the previous lines in order to create the symmetry.

6. Add the eyebrow.  A common mistake is to make the eyebrows too long.   Center them over the eyeball and extend them ever so slightly.


Complete each element individually as you draw them.  As an example, complete both eyebrows before proceeding to the next step which will be the nose.  In this way you will be able to see if you like the position and how each element looks.  Make any necessary adjustments as you progress.

7. Add the nostrils.


Proof it…


8. Then add the center lip line.


Proof it…


Then add the upper and lower lip lines.


Proof them and at the same time, add a small arc suggesting the outline of the chin and the smile dimple.


9. Then add the bridge to the nose…


And proof all elements that you just added.

10. Add the eyelashes and the outside corners to the lower eyelid.  The eyelashes should be very tiny as this is a primitive or vintage-looking face and you don’t want your doll to look like a “painted” lady.  Also there is NO bottom eyelid…just the suggestion at the corners.


Proof them…

11. Then add the hair outline.


Proof it.  And voila…


You’ve drawn your first face!

Transferring The Design

1. Using a light box or a window during daylight hours as a light source, lightly trace the pattern that you’ve created onto the right side of your fabric with a very sharp pencil and a light hand.  The reason why you want the pencil to be sharp is because you want a very fine line.


13. Sew the head and body part of the doll together and stuff it before proceeding.  It is easier to create the face after it is stuffed.


Now comes the fun part…bringing her to life!

Adding Color To The Face

1. Verl lightly outline all the lines that you had previously traced in pencil using the brown Pigma pen.


2. With the black Pigma pen, color in the pupils of the eyes.


3. Color in the irises of the eyes with the Prismacolor True Blue.  Re-line the upper lids and irises with the black Pigma pen.  VERY lightly, add the SHORT eyelashes with the black pen as well.


4. Lightly fill in the lips with Crimson Red.


5. Shade or strengthen the color under the upper lip line with Raspberry and the left side ONLY of the irises with Violet Blue.


6. Holding the shaft of the pencil sideways so that you’re coloring with the side and not the tip of the lead, shade on either side of the nose and nostrils with Burnt Sienna…


And referring to the photo, add shading to the nostril openings, on top of the line above the upper eyelid, the smile lines, the chin line and all around the face against the hair line.  Remember to add the color with a light touch because you can always go back and add more.

Tip: When coloring with the side of the lead, it is easier to apply the color in a circular rather than an up and down motion.  The color should always be darker against the element you are shading and allow it to fade the further away you travel with the color simply by lightening your touch. 

Add a little blush to her cheeks in the same manner with Crimson Red.


7. Paint the hair with the dark brown acrylic paint.


8. Add the loose strand of hair with the brown Pigma pen.  The highlight in the eye is created by dipping the sharp end of a toothpick into the off white paint and placing a dot IN THE SAME PLACE in both eyes.  In my example, I placed the highlight glints in the upper left quadrant of the eyes where the pupil and iris meet.  Using the toothpick and the same off white, I also applied a very fine line IN THE SAME PLACE on both eyes to the lower right quadrant of the iris.  This is known as the reflected light highlight.


And there you have it…a completed doll’s face. 

If you take it step-by-step and not try to take any short cuts, it’ll be just as easy as it looks.  The most common mistake that people make is trying to draw the entire face freehand and hope that the both sides align and match up.  This is virtually impossible to do, even by the most accomplished artist. 

The ‘proof’ is in the pudding.  Take the time to ‘proof’ each step as you go.  By doing this, it’s actually fool-‘proof’.  *wink*


Remember at the beginning when I said that “there are many ways of right”? 

I choose not to include a lower lid line in my faces, simply because it gives a softer overall look to a face.  A common mistake that occurs when adding a lower eyelid is to add some white between the eyeball and the lower lid.  If you look at yourself in the mirror, you cannot see white either above or below your eyeball…not unless you stick your finger in an electrical socket, i.e.  Yikes!


For those of you that might be viewing this for the first time, you can download a PDF file which includes the pattern to make this doll




I hope that this tutorial gives you the confidence to try to create your own doll’s face.   So what do you think?  Are you going to give it a try?

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥