Friday, July 31, 2015

PIN CUSHION

Now that I'm feeling ohhhhh so much better.......a busy personal schedule is keeping me away from the studio. (and will for most of August) 

However, I was in need of a small gift and decided a pin cushion is something that just about everyone can use.
This beauty was made by Patsy Thompson, who makes magic with her sewing machine.  Patsy was an original member of Fiber Junkies, a group of 6 that started about 7 years ago (note to self - check on the date!) 
It features free motion quilting on dyed fabrics.  Interest and texture was created by burning holes into the top layer of fabric.
backside
 Not wanting to be a copy cat.....but being inspired to go beyond making a plain square or circular one.....I recalled an interesting pin cushion I'd seen in a gift shop.  It was made to look like a rose/flower of some sort.

Most of us have probably made a rose using lengths of ribbon.  So, that was what I attempted to do....filling a folded strip of fabric with wool batting.  The stuffed yellow circle center worked great but the rest didn't. Sorry, I have no photo to share of that disaster.  

So I began again......this time I cut circles of fabric and batting.....
..........folding in half....sewing the edges together.  There is probably a mathematical way to make the sections fit together better than mine did.....but in the end....it worked fine. (The 3 center ones were smaller circles, the outer ones slightly larger.)
Instead of finishing the lower sides and bottom with fabric, felt leaves surround the piece, attached with an embroidered vein. 

Have you made any fun pin cushions?  Do share your ideas.......



Thursday, July 30, 2015

FOG = SNOW

We've been told by the locals that the number of days of early morning fog in late summer, equals the number of days of snow in the winter.
 That has me worried..... photo shows the back of our house...with a bank of fog just coming over the top.  Within minutes it was engulfed by fog.
 This morning view has been almost daily now for about 2 weeks.....
Though it is beautiful as the sun begins to burn it off!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

NATURE'S BEAUTY

The back of our house faces north....with a partial roof over a large deck. That combo has always made it difficult to grow and enjoy flowers in that area.

Ta-da.......we tried coleus this year.......lucious colors.....happy, happy plants.
Click on photo for a larger view.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

......AT LEAST I'M WORKING!!

At least I'm trying to get back to my routine.  Landscape quilts are wayyyy out of my comfort zone.....just don't have the eye for them.

However, an 'Oregon' wall quilt theme was requested by my nephew and I'll give it my best effort.
Sure it's still not much to look at.....but I'm enjoying the process even after rejecting piles and piles of fabrics for this project......and I always say, I love a challenge.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ABSENT!

It's with a really warm heart that I write today to thank the many, many of you who actually noticed I hadn't been posting and THEN took the time to write and inquire if all was well.  It sure did a gal good!!

So...the fact of the matter is/was.....that I hadn't been well for a couple of weeks.....details aren't important, but the outlook is just fine.  Though I've had to stay away from the computer, my Kindle, hand sewing, and machine work.....all those activities are slowly being resumed.  (Even the dreaded daily 'forced march' took place today...95% of it!)

Being glued to our couch was a lot easier after I discovered all the seasons of Downton Abby were on Amazon Prime.  Watching them through a haze of pain meds. made this hard to imagine lifestyle almost real!!  

Obviously I have nothing really much to share with you at the moment.  However, I have a fall wedding wall quilt request from a family member and the design is creeping into my head (clearly, I'm getting better!) Yesterday I actually pulled out some fabric and puttered a bit. It 'ain't' much.....but it looked like the Mona Lisa to me!

Friday, July 10, 2015

CATTAILS IN SILHOUETTE - NEW WORK

The final piece of my micro-wave dyed failure....which was ultimately rescued by mono-printing......was like money burning a hole in my pocket.  I couldn't wait to 'cash it in' and develop another silhouette piece.

The motifs were based on my cattails design published in my book "The Wholecloth Garment Stori" and a series of stencils I developed for Quilting Creations. (I have NEVER been able to get a good photo for this piece!!!)  It's hand stipple quilted with trapunto work and beaded. This subtle wall quilt is available at my gallery shop....trust me, it's beautifully executed.


CATTAILS IN SILHOUETTE   10" X 11.5" 
Artist micro-waved dyed, mono-printed, appliqued and 
hand embroidered.

**  All three pieces can be purchased together at a discount and free shipping....use the link above to visit my gallery shop.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

INDIGO BLUE - NEW WORK

I'm crazy about the color indigo blue......aren't you??  This little project consumed many happy evenings as I stitched and stitched.
INDIGO BLUE    10" x 8" 
Artist indigo dyed linen, printed with natural foliage, bead embellished agate,
and hand embroidered.  Mounted on canvas covered frame, fabric backed with hanging device.
DETAIL

Sunday, July 5, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS - USA WORLD CUP SOCCER

Women's World Cup Soccer -  USA-5     Japan-2

Amazing performance and a well deserved win.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

INDIGO BLUE - SMALL WORK IN PROGRESS

Busy, busy.....I've always heard how much busier folks seem to be when they retire.....though I was extremely busy before, now I wonder how on earth I did it all!

I'm in the middle of creating two large projects that will be gifts.  I'm holding off blogging about them right now and time hasn't allowed me to generate much else.  So, rather than disappear totally....here's a look at a small project in the works.
 This piece of coarsely woven linen fabric was indigo dyed during a Fiber Junkies play date some time ago.  I LOVE this color and could easily work with it on every project!
 During my reorganization post-teaching period, I came across several beaded agate slices that I'd used as workshop samples.  This one was paired with a small piece of felted wool that I'd marbleized.  A final row of beads stitched at the base of the agate holds it to the fabric.
 Because the work will be mounted on a canvas covered frame, a basted outline of the required size helps to keep my design within that boundary.
Isn't it always such a surprise when your initial 'design map' takes an off ramp? After several starts and stops adding beads to the background, I gave up and listened to the quilt.  Instead, leaves were gathered and printed onto the fabric using acrylic paint.  Next, I hand embroidered details.  What's next?? I'm not sure...perhaps I'll have some evening stitching time soon to explore that question.  Stay tuned.....

Monday, June 29, 2015

ECO-PRINT DYEING - FINAL THOUGHTS

FIRST - thank you, thank you to those generous readers of this blog who've taken the time to share a comment or connect with me personally, offering insights about eco-print dyeing.  Clearly, there are a host of methods to achieve results and there are a host of variables within those methods that can alter the outcome.  AND...finally, one's willingness to accept surprises will also impact the success of such experiments.
 I'd brought a few cotton hankies, dollies, and piece of machine made lace.  After realizing our initial approach wasn't providing good results, we began to simply experiment. I loosely scrunched the items on plastic lids.......  
 ....then poured some iron solution over each and let them sit in the hot sun for hours.  (After they were dry, the larger piece was unfolded and displayed on marsh grass for the purpose of this photo.)
By now we were grabbing everything within reach to see 'what if'.  This piece of silk noil contains salt, turmeric, cumin, red pepper flakes, and blueberries.  It was rolled as usual onto a dowel, tied and processed for at least 2 hours in our iron solution.
 We didn't give up completely using foliage....it turns out that ferns printed nicely....and the addition of the spices we used added a lot more color.
 We did give up using rice steamers, realizing that they simply didn't provide enough heat to achieve anything but very pale color.  But, before we did, we added ground red pepper to the water....hoping that would help.  It didn't.

Instead, a simple hot plate with an inexpensive aluminum pan worked very well.
Kate got super interested in working with fruit....here she's smashed blueberries and cherries, along with some turmeric.  It too was rolled on a dowel, tied and processed in the iron solution.
Judy gave me a piece of China silk. Kate had also been playing with tea....interested to see what the tannin would do.  It wasn't as successful as she'd hoped.  However, that left a bunch of wet tea bags on our supply table so after sprinkling turmeric and red pepper on the fabric....along with a spritz of vinegar, I arranged 6 tea bags and folded the whole thing into a package.  It too was processed in the iron solution.

Here's the finished piece.....which I quite like!

So....this concludes the "Eco-Print Storigram".  We have so much fun together, honestly if we'd have ended up with cow pies we would have been happy!  Why not grab some of your like-minded pals and plan a day or two to do your own experiments?