Friday, September 19, 2014

FELTED ACORNS

My goal for the last year+ has been to find new homes for the stack of quilts generated over the years of creating for books, magazines, teaching, and quilting tours/cruises.  Watch for additional pieces added to my already plentiful gallery shop.

In the meantime, I will continue to create new work but also direct some energies to felting.
 The crop of acorns in our area is huge this year.....and my stash of caps is growing....
 I've spent several happy afternoons with a bowl of hot water, soap, bubble wrap, and a nylon scrunchy....
 .....along with hand-dyed wool roving........torn into short lengths.....
 .......to be shaped into rough balls using the water/soap and lots of elbow grease.....
 ....which are further shaped into the acorn base.......and fitted with a cap.
It's not any less time consuming than beading....but perhaps more beneficial for my flabby upper arms.  I expect to put some in my shop soon.


Check out what others have been doing this week at:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, and Sarah's Whoop, Whoop Friday.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

FELTED VESSEL

I've become more and more interested in creating my own felted 'material' and have begun experimenting with other felting methods. It's challenging to 'learn on your own', but fun.
 Felted vessels....bowls, pots, vases etc. have always held interest for me.  So, what the heck.....maybe I can make one myself.  I don't have a vast stash of wool roving/prefelt batts etc. but why should that stop me?
 My step-by-step photos are really lacking here as I got so intent on what I was doing that I totally forgot to document the process.  But basically, wool roving strands are stacked on top of each other....altering the direction of how they are placed.  A plastic 'resist' is placed between the top and bottom layers and after that it's rub, rub, rub....roll, roll, roll with hot water and soap until the fibers become one.
 It' not quite felted yet......but it's starting to hold together....the blue in the center is a marker to tell me where to cut a hole to remove the resist.  Once removed.....the shaping and hand wet felting continues....until......
 ........it takes shape.  It's stuffed with netting to hold the shape as it dries on an old wire rack.
A day later.......ta da......it's finished....measuring about 3.5" diameter at its base and 2.5" tall.  It's still a tad fuzzy but I think that's from the type of (dark) roving I used......or maybe it needed to be felted more.  BUT....I'm happy with this first attempt and will definitely be making more......Christmas is coming....these may make great gifts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

EMBELLISHING MARBLED FABRIC

Now that the focal point has been attached, I can see more clearly a direction for additional embellishments. Supporting elements that enhance but don't compete with the agate.

I ALWAYS bead in a Q-snap frame.....it assures that the thread tension is appropriate and by working with the fabric on grain....there is no distortion or puckering.  The only exception to my self-imposed rule is when beading bindings. 
Using several different seed bead colors and finishes.....I'm following some of the purple marbled design lines with both dimensional and straight line beading.  This will be time consuming but worth it.....when I get antsy, I'll remind myself....this is not a sprint....rather it's a marathon that should be enjoyed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT COLOR BEADS......

The marbled fabric project I blogged about the other day was not only calling me....it was screaming for attention.
 Despite gathering my supplies, when it came down to it, the Delica beads I planned on using to attach the agate (with the even count peyote stitch) just weren't the right colors. 

What to do??  This agate slice is especially thick, with more than normal uneven edges.  You can see by the photo above how unattractive that edge is.
 So I tried a new method.  Stacks of regular seed beads, with one lime Delica bead on each were stitched around the agate.
 Next, I added a bead between each lime bead, pulling the thread tension tight to help encase the embellishment.
BUT.....I wasn't keen about the appearance...a bit uninteresting in my opinion.
So, I threaded up my needle again and added an additional lime bead on top of every other Delica bead.....giving it the appearance of the peyote stitch...well one row of the peyote stitch......

Now I'll be pondering what comes next.  Most often an embellishment this large is added towards the end of the project, but because the marbled fabric was so busy, I needed to get this focal point in place before I moved to smaller bead and hand embroidery motifs.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A TOUCH OF GOLD

As I mentioned when describing the beginning of this piece here, it probably wouldn't look that much different when completed.....and it doesn't.  But it is now complete...and surprisingly, not a bead in sight....hummm....maybe I shouldn't call it finished!!!   (Click on photos to enlarge)
 A TOUCH OF GOLD  15.25" X 24.75"
Artist hand-dyed and discharge printed on cotton, commercial fabric,  machine quilted with metallic thread.
DETAIL

Sunday, September 14, 2014

SMILING CHEESEHEAD

GREEN BAY PACKERS 31 - NY JETS 24

Hooray!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

ITCHY FINGERS

After my absence from the studio, my fingers are itching to stitch!
 The painted fusible papers, created at the last Fiber Junkies meeting, are still calling me.
 As are some new colorful beads.
 The pile of marbleized fabrics I printed seemed neglected, so it's time to see what I can come up with using these materials.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

I LEFT SOME QUILTS IN MD & DE!!

Among the many highlights of my teaching trip is the food.  Both groups so thoughtfully arranged dinners at interesting restaurants.....  We are quilters after all......food is always on our minds!
My first experience at a Persian restaurant......it tasted as good as it looks.
With lots of giggling on my last night, I was told we'd be going to "Wrinkles".....Hummm...what a strange name for a restaurant.  Well...it was the nickname the group calls this establishment due to all the seniors who eat here beginning at 4:00 PM.  


I'm all smiles and so are the new owners of a number of my pieces. I'll admit to having separation pangs, but in my heart, with my retirement getting closer and closer, it's a necessary step.....made easier seeing the happy keepers of these designs.






 I'll conclude with this picture of Casey and myself......

Thursday, September 11, 2014

REMEMBER

It seems appropriate today to stop and remember....
United We Stand by Mary Stori

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

LADY BUG QUILTERS SHARE THEIR WORK

Of course everyone enjoys the show and tell portion of each guild meeting...the Lady Bug's was particularly large and so inspiring.  It's apparent many members favor traditional quilts.....most were scrappy but several had innovative twists.

You know how it goes......it's difficult to even snap photos much less document makers names.....I apologize for not having them, but please do look at these beauties.









 These final two photos highlight some very enthusiastic students from my workshop.  During the morning, they learned basic beading techniques and beyond.  The afternoon was spent exploring beaded binding and edging techniques.  What a pleasure it was for me to work with such highly skilled stitchers.
I'm off to play with the Baltimore Hertiage Guild for a few days before heading home.  Mole hunter Sooty and 'the husband' are holding down the fort!