Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thread Painting Progress

I am getting closer to thinking this is "painted". The flowers are defined. I had to add another layer of heavy stabilizer to avoid more puckering. Now I tear the tear-away stabilizer off the back and sandwich with a thin batting and have at the background. Caren stippled hers...nicely I might add. I am not very confident in my stippling abilities. You must think about 15 stitches ahead so you don't get tangled up. Maybe if I practice the movement on paper I will see how not to get stuck? Once the background quilting is done the images you've thread painted pop out. I am very excited about this piece and this process!

I really love the magenta on the darker leaf shapes.

Here us a close-up of my progress on the Black Eyed Susan. I added a rusty color thread after the yellow thread to define the shape more and liked it. It still needed something....if you look carefully you will see an orange-y colored thread on edges and some in the petals. Notice the center is done in zig-zag free motion which adds a different texture. A bit of green is in there too.
Oh so chilly outside! I like it though. It was a great day to meander around the Elmwood Art Festival with Sandy, Carol, Terry and Lauren. I actually bought a nice leather bag, just big enough for whatever you may need on an outing. Handcrafted by a man that doesn't waste time on the email or business cards or contact info...just makes wonderful leather bags of all kinds to sell! I am intrigued by the concept.

Lunch at Brodo's. Delicious!

I learned:

  1. Melissa makes excellent chicken salad!

  2. Inexpensive air dry clay is cool. These are the miscellaneous bits I made a while ago. I used some small bird stamps on some. I love the idea of the healed heart. I plan to paint them and grunge them up and use them creatively!
  3. I admire jewelry. I don't wear it though. When I retire, I will wear jewelry. (my take on "When I am old, I will wear purple..."!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sharing Sassaman

I love Jane Sassaman's design style..her patterns, her quilts, her fabric and after meeting her...HER! She is a lovely, soft-spoken woman. I have posted pics of some of her work. Her graphic aesthetic speaks to me! I have the heart pattern above. I also have the perfect fabric for it, but no time right now. It would also make a cool wedding hearty thing with the names or date inside the heart.
Take a look at all these beauties. They are all done in various Sassaman fabric lines.

Another impressive, colorful quilt. I really love those spikes. I love her bold and powerful designs. I want to make quilts like these!

While I was thread painting my leaves on the piece from my class Saturday, I thought of the sampler Jane Sassaman showed us in the class I took a few months ago. Seeing all the options she presented gives me ideas for all the things you can do with this new skill. Jane incorporates zig-zag and decorative stitches as a feature on many leaves.

Just a seam treatment...I like to do more than one stitch on a seam to make it more interesting. The blue sequins are off of a stretchy belt, probably from a dance costume, that I picked up at Sally Ann's. I just had to snip some threads and off they came!

This was the last little bit I did on Lynn's CQ RR block. It's a lace flower that I sew one of the faces I had hand stitched a tiny face for a Dotee Doll. I never used this one and she is so cute. I love her lips! I stitched sequins with beads around her face and in some of the petals for shimmer.
I learned:
  1. Sandy's post-chemo tests are miraculously good!!
  2. Bruce Springsteen's last concert on this tour is in Buffalo Nov. 22? Yay
  3. Snagged by the dog-license police. I have a dog. They found out (well I cannot lie and the animal censurer came to my house and inquired and I said yes and they want some $$$$ from me now...that is what it's all about)now I have to pay.
  4. Paper fabric. Jody is going to make some. Here is a tutorial she found.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thread Painting Class from Caren Betlinski

My old rose bush in it's 2nd blooming. So pretty! It was planted by the woman that lived here for over 5o years before I bought this old house 6 years ago.


Yesterday my quilt guild had Caren Betlinksi in for an all day class to learn some tricks to thread painting. Thread painting is just that..."painting" with thread! It is free motion stitching on your machine, using different shades of colors to get a painterly effect.

The class was wonderfully orchestrated by Caren...her supply packet included plastic templates for the flowers, pre-fused fabrics for the flowers, leaves and stems, practice pieces with stabilizer all ready for us to do a few exercises before we put this technique to the test on our own works. We all appreciated her preparation and thorough explanations and advice. It was a very busy, fun-filled day and I know I learned much! Thank you Caren.

One of her pieces.. pretty pink flower.

Tigerlily...all those shades of orange!

Caren showing us her coneflowers.

This is my piece after I added the accent strips which is also part of Caren's lesson. The background is a hand-dyed FQ from a woman in Florida. Melanie was wise to bring more fabrics than she needed and generous enough to let me have the bright pink fabric! Thanks Mel!!

Close-up shows how Caren uses unexpected colors to create depth and interest in the yellow on the petals of the Black-Eyed Susan's. Notice the magenta veining on the leaves.

Caren's work of art that was the lesson for our is gorgeous! You can see her years of practice and experience. I just love her work.

I have the mid tone yellow stitched on all petals and plan to add a little magenta and a certain shade of green. Caren also had a grey-blue in hers. The centers are done in free motion zig-zag which is fun to do...very textural. I still need to add a light tone brown and a darker brown to show a light source. (always difficult for me to perceive a light source!) Caren advised us to add another layer of tear-away stabilizer where needed. (the entire thing has 1 layer already) I found out (too late!) that the brown centers needed more stabilizer when my first one puckered the background fabric. I am thinking a bee will enter the picture right on that pucker!

Some of my thread painting on the leaves and petals.

I spent a few more hours at the machine "painting" the leaves and Black-Eyed Susan's. I am not finished yet but it sure is fun! I really like this process and can see it being useful in other ways and for many projects.
I am very pleased about this project, which doesn't often happen for me when I take a class. This will definitely be one I enter in our quilt show next year! I have plenty of time to finish!
Today I learned:
  1. Thread painting of course!
  2. I can download SCRABBLE to my phone!
  3. There is a way to knit 2 socks, a pair, at one time on 30" #2 circular needles. Mary Lee is going to send me a tutorial she found online.

Here are 9 of the 19 that took the class showing their progress. These are all fused down and ready for threadpainting. I love seeing how each person's fabric choices and layouts make them all different and interesting!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Talia's Sexy Fairy's CQ block!

Sorry about the blurry image but I thought it was worth showing. The dyed lace frame around the fairy is such a great idea.

Love this image. They are my colors. So ethereal.

Carolyn painted this stunning peacock. Any of us that are fortunate enough to get an original painting from her, treasure it. She is the woman that did the dragonfly on my CQ valance.

The images she found were gorgeous.

"T" for Talia in matte multi-colored beads.

Here is the entire pieced and embellished Fairy block. Talia has a real beauty ...such creative women worked on this. Love this piece.

Speaking of Fairy's......
This is my little fairy house in the garden. A friend of mine likes to keep himself busy and playing with tools, making birdhouses, is a little hobby. He used a woodburning tool to make his signature flower. Looks so sweet in my small garden next to my house.

I love rusty old things..this old metal garden fence was on my property. It is bent and mangled a bit but it seems perfect for some interesting installation. I haven't been able to part with it for 6 years. I guess it should go...soon? I say all this because by friend Pam has been bringing her son Noah to my house to ride the mower and cut my grass. They have been doing some other things for me and Pam mentioned the rusty fence. Now she knows me...for over 40 years, so she knows how I feel about that rusty pile of antiquity. To her it seems logical to have thrown it out 6 years ago! To her it is useless old junk (which it undoubtedly is) cluttering up the joint! I am not ready to trash it just yet. I can use it to rust dye fabric (perfect)or I can stretch it back out in front of my concrete, concession-to-the-times (I understand), front porch or I can just appreciate that fence for all it's charm, all the weather it's been exposed to, all the chemical reaction that went into making it this far. For now...I keep the rusty garden fence.

My thread painting class is all day tomorrow. I am excited to learn a new technique and think of ways to incorporate it in things I do. Of course I have not gathered all my supplies but I know I will be up early to finish. I will have camera and pics will assuredly be posted on Sunday.
Also going to The Creekside Inn in Caledonia for a dinner and trunk show from 2 women. Should be fun.
I learned today:
  1. My washer needs a new clutch. Wonder what that will run me?
  2. My lawn mower needs a new belt and an $80 thingy.
  3. I won't be doing laundry or mowing this weekend!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pat Winter's Giveaway...I Covet Much

There is a very special blog that I have been reading for quite awhile now called Pat Winter Gatherings. She does exquisite crazy quilting...lives it really. Pat has been published in many of my favorite magazines. If you click on the here you will see a little treasure she is giving away. I must say I covet that precious nest! There is something about the bird/nest/wing thing that really appeals to me. If I am not the lucky winner I will figure out how to make one! So go take a look....make sure to look through past posts as each one has something to offer. You will certainly be inspired!

HOT & HUMID again today so you know not much in the way of choring today!I
I decided to begin the "Box" project for Colleen. Right after meeting her at the HGTV quilt retreat we began emailing and having recognized a similar aesthetic artistically so we embarked on a journey! We sent each other things, in a BOX! that reflected us, what inspires us or what speaks to us. I LOVE old, rusty, worn. weathered, solid bits so I included all that plus some wool, linen and old lace in my box for her to create something with. When I opened the box from Colleen it was like I was looking at all things similar to my things! I knew it! We have no timeline and no limitations. I have wanted to do a mixed media dimensional piece for a long time but I always need a reason or deadline or an expectation to be the catalyst to produce.
I can't really show you what I am doing now though as it is supposed to be a surprise and I want to keep it a surprise because I really think it will be a surprise!
I will, however, take pictures along the creative journey and post them all when she has received it. I am very very excited about this and feel like I am doing something that says ME as well as says Colleen.

Melissa & I both broke out the air dry clay today and made various "beads". She made a bunch using stamps....sun, moon, flowers, alphabets. They are really cute. I made some more little bird beads, fish, mended hearts, and stamped bird images. I love them all but I particularly like the mended hearts. I am going to paint them a deep red and antique it with black and try to "sew" it together with thin wire.

I love days like today. It felt like a Sunday should feel...slower, calmer than all the other days. When I was little every Sunday was like that since NO stores were open on Sunday. Hard to believe now. It is a great way to rejuvenate for 7AM Monday mornings.

These 3 works of art were made by Caren Betlinski, a retired teacher and a very talented woman. She did a trunk show for us last year and we arranged to have her do an all day workshop for us this Saturday. These are truly sensational. These are all done using thread painting. All that color gradation.....many shades of thread. Gorgeous.

I think we will be "painting" lazy susan's. I had most of the threads in my stash but since yellow has never been a favored color I had to run to local Joanne's to buy the shades required. We will surely learn many helpful things in her class and I know everyone is very excited about it.

I learned today:

  1. That one should always look in the mirror before answering a knock (I don't have a doorbell...don't need one apparently!) at the door. It was only 6:00ish but I had already showered the sweaty day off and had addressed some adult blemishes (man, I never outgrew this) by attacking them with some 10% zit zapper stuff which is a (transparent) white. I thought of this about 15 minutes later! He wears glasses and can't see well out of one eye so maybe he didn't even notice the pearly dots adorning my face!
  2. Humphrey Bogart~no. Cary Grant~yes
  3. I bought Mixed Media Self Portraits by Cate (love C..ate instead of K...ate) Coulacos Prato today with my 40% off coupon of course. Elaine had this at our art quilt meeting and since we are going to be concentrating on self portraits I wanted to have some idea's to work with. Sharon came up with the idea of a series of 5...from childhood to adolescence to other times in our lives. 8.5" x 11" is a doable, not daunting, size so this will be interesting and fun.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Whiteface Mt....Adorable Bullion Stitch Frog..etc.

Last weekend I went with Michael to his girlfriend, Karyssa's house in Vermontville, north of Saranac Lake NY. Meeting her parents was like meeting up with old friends. We drove to the top of Whiteface Mountain, which is virtually in their backyard. Was I nervous up there? Yes! There are no ropes at the edges of all this rockage! Michael & Karyssa were standing perilously close to the edge of a rock and I was getting weak and nauseous! If you are claustrophobic, even a little, you may not want to take the very small elevator up inside the mountain. But what views! It was a perfect day. Check this out for more pictures. We also went to Lake Placid which is also charming. Wonderful time in a wonderful place with wonderful people!

Our program for quilt guild today was by Barb Sackel. She is a designer for the Accuquilt GO and pattern designer for In 3 weeks she will release 2 quilt books of patterns and in the fall a 19 pattern fabric line for BLANK fabrics. Impressive! And she was a gracious lecturer also. Her trunk show can be viewed here.

BUT of course her one and only Crazy Quilt caught my attention! Barb is still working on it, with beading and more stitching, it is a work in progress.

This frog was my favorite bit. It is from a book (she is going to email me the name of it & I will post it) and used bullion stitches to make his entire body, legs and arms which secure a real twig in place. Even his eyes were made with bullion stitch. Bullion stitch is not in my repertoire....yet! I am going to make this frog!

This is only 1 of 4 corner area's she painted using oil paint I believe she said. I like my crazy quilting to have some another dimension other than stitches.

I am just about finished with Lynn's CQ RR.....finally. After stitching up BELIEVE, there wasn't very much blank space left so I concentrated on seams. I think she will be very happy with it.

OF course I found myself lured by Nicki's CQ for ME challenge! It's not a swap nor a RR since we are actually assigned to make a block for ourselves. How clever is that? It is a way for everyone to make that special piece using all the "too-great-to-use-and-never-see-again" bits. The one rule is to use 2 (majority voted) colors of a fabric she will purchase and 1 motif of her choosing. I am thinking of using wool and linen for mine. They are my favorite textures and know stitching shows up well on both. SO I am just waiting for our fabrics to get going on that.

AND my friend Colleen organized a small Mixed Media Book RR with a few girls that exhibit similar artsy tendencies! We are to make a front/back cover in our chosen size using anything we want.....fabric/paper/polymer clay/decoupage/metal/wood...etc. My mind is reeling! THEMES? Doors...or windows...or wings...or maybe an idea like interpreting in your own way a painting or work of art....or collage...and the list goes on! Nailing down my theme will be hardest part for me. Colleen is going to do a portraits of the artist idea. SUCH CREATIVE opportunities!

I received another exemplary applique block from Christine today for the raffle quilt Tracy J and I are heading up for my guild's quilt show next October. I am confident it will be desirable and sell many many tickets!!

The backgrounds for these 6 blocks are various cream colors. The stems are a "muddy" green and the flowers are "muddy" red. Surrounding these 6 applique blocks will be a prairie points strip (is it still called prairie points even if it's not 3 dimensional?) then rectangular courthouse steps (maybe paper pieced) and 4 corner appliques using only 1 stem/flower. We will introduce a tobacco brown for nice contrast in the rest of the quilt. So we have tea with cream, the muddy greens & reds and tobacco/mocha browns. Will keep posting as we progress at our somewhat "winging it" pace!

I learned:

  1. Bruce is coming to Buffalo in November...last concert of current tour. YAY.
  2. Cut hair shorter and love it.
  3. Michael is back at camp. Jr. year begins.
  4. Project Runway soon. YAY.
  5. 30 year high school reunion last weekend. Wasn't here but wouldn't have gone anyway.
  6. I will be teaching needle felting at my library this fall. Connie will teach Iris folding.
  7. I must need new glasses...I have to look through my bifocals to see people close to me!
  8. I want some Kutter's cheese....2 yr aged white cheddar. I tasted a 12 yr aged cheddar from Kutter's....good, not 12 yr great though.
  9. I CAN retire in 6 yrs 8 mos 2 weeks.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Believe in French Knots

I finished Lynn's BELIEVE today. MANY many french knots later, I love how it came out.

I received these cute flower sequins from my friend Nicki. I love how delicate they are. I tacked them down with matte blue beads and then stitched some swirly foliage.

Made progress on this block today and I do hope to get it mailed back home to Lynn this week. I know she will be happy to see it all dolled!

I need to get back on track with the raffle quilt Tracy and I are chairing for our guild's next quilt show next year. We have a design sketched out. The center 6 blocks are a nice applique Coxcomb from a book Tracy has. We have had some turned in and they are beautiful. The colors we chose are tea/coffee shades of cream for background; "muddy" greens and reds and a mocha brown for contrast. We are hoping for a money maker!

I have recently learned:

  1. How to chat on FB.
  2. I love the Cake Boss. Creative. Good guy. Great cakes.
  3. The average American is 23 lbs. overweight. I am right on target then.
  4. Surprise inventories. Work. I am THE stockkeeper. This is a bad idea.
  5. At Dunkin Donuts 50 is considered Senior discountable...
  6. 30 year high school reunion next weekend. Wouldn't go even if I were going to be in town. My graduating class was 788.
  7. My friend Peggy opting on Double Mastectomy with reconstruction on Tuesday. She had breast cancer a few years ago. She also had a heart attack from the Tomoxifin. She is my age. This is a decision based on testing & genetics. She made the right decision.
  8. My mom had/died from breast/colon cancer almost 7 years ago. We don't know which one metastasized to her lungs. I would do the DM messing around. Give me some new boobs and move on.
  9. Some people don't know that it's a possibility that when you use jumper cables to jump a car, the battery could explode spraying battery acid. Technically you should use a faceshield.
  10. Pat Conroy has a new book out...South of Broad.