Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Irish Landscape Quilt so far...

I signed up on Learningfa, the Yahoo group for fiber arts, for this class called Irish Landscape. Miriam was the instructor and she lives in Ireland. The class  came in emails, but no written directions? So I wanted to get to it and just winged it! The blue sky is a piece of Dyna Flow dyed fabric I made a while ago...perfect sky! I used velvet for the back mountains and taffeta for the foreground of the mountain. The gauze is a triangle bandage I coffee dyed! Smells good. The successive rows of landscape were batiks, sheers, home dec stripes, even a layer of handmade paper. I really should have taken a close-up so you could see the layering. Maybe tomorrow.
It still needs some thread work, but I love it and loved the process...alot! I was in the zone, tossing things this way and that!

I also spent many hours working on a project for the next round in the Homemade Holiday Swap I am in. Easter/Spring theme. I can't post a picture until the giftee opens it in a month.

The raffle quilt is at Penny's ready for machine quilting and then let the ticket sale's begin!

Still stitching, hundreds of them actually (stitches that is!) on Kathy's Mermaid block. I am laying down an ocean floor of copper organza. I will then add to that some beads & shells & who knows what else!? I just can't rush my creativity so it takes as long as it takes!

I have learned:

  1. USA lost to Canada in Olympic hockey today. It is their game.

  2. Fiona sucks on her tail. We wondered why the tip of her tail would be wet!? She is a wild thing...her full name is now Fiona Vixen Banshee!

  3. You can play Scrabble on Facebook with your friends. This is awesome!
  4. Really good quick read..A Year of Cats and Dogs by Margaret Hawkins.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Art Quilts and other Arty Bits by My Friends!

When my little art quilt group met last Martha shared a piece of her experiments with the gelatin mono-printing technique from an resent issue of Quilting Arts magazine with each of us. I chose this densely colored piece. She did add some painting and coloring with markers I believe. It is pretty cool. Thanks Martha!
Elaine also made a Valentine ATC for us! She made her own stamp from a dollar store eraser...and used acrylic paint to stamp the hearts! Some thread work and machine embroidered lettering added to make it adorable! Thanks E~!
I have been stitching on the most recent Mermaid block I received last week. We have hit a bump in this RR and it has interfered with the amount of time I have to do good work. I spent a couple hours in the last 2 nights laying something down, lots of sewing, only to rip it out the next day. I think last night I may have found the way to do what I envision. I used a single layer of copper organza, stitched down on the ocean floor, gathering and rippling it. Once I put some shells and other thread work onto it I think it will look less "heavy" and more like aquatic. Pics when it is more formed~

SNOW....UGH and more snow on the way!

Last month at guild a few of us stayed after to do Iron Quilter. We swapped bags and spent 2 hours starting an art quilt. A few woman showed what they finished at Saturday's meeting. WOW. Dodie's mixed media piece is awesome! I really love it. She has some beading and added words in paint I believe. Cool!Ann had fun and her piece is SO fun! Love this lively art quilt!Christine really struggled in the 2 hour time frame. She is very meticulous and this was more spontaneous. When she brought this in we were all amazed at what she had done to finish what she had started! It is really arty and I love it!Sharon had finished most of hers in our 2 hours. Love the cats she added to it. Beautiful work!Chris received the bag I brought! She used the butterfly sheer in unique a pattern on the green silk in upper left, to thread paint it and beaded one in lower left. She used the fringe that was on the gift bag I used to pack my stuff! AND love how she finished the edges. Awesome!
What we learn while doing these exercises is priceless. Some of us learn to be more intuitive, we work outside our usual color palette. Most of the women are traditional quilter's and this is new to them...and they like it! We will definitely be doing this again!

I have learned:

  1. Johnny Cash's birthday would have been this Friday.
  2. World Cafe on NPR...not top 40. good stuff.
  3. SNOW, and more snow on the way apparently....I know, I already said oppresive.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thread Painted Robin

I belong to a Yahoo group called LearningFA or Learning Fiber Arts. Shirley is a very talented woman and she is sharing her knowledge of thread painting in a class. I just finished my Robin! We learned to use the free motion zig-zag to do him. I began by printing her pattern out onto fabric, comes in a package at Joann's, and lightly glued (glue stick) in place to Timtex. Then have at it! Shirley provided instructions on color placement but encourages her students to use their judgement also. I really like the little guy!

My friend Tammy is in the grop too and she was was lucky enough to have signed into a small (15 people) group that will concentrate on art quilting. I believe their first challenge is "Hidden Treasure". Interpreted any way they want. Cool!

Tomorrow is quilt guild day, always a highlight. I have asked 4 talented woman to demo something. We have Martha showing us how to do the facing thing on art quilts or small pieces; Mary Ellen will clue us in on the technique she used to make her spiral challenge piece; Melanie will do some free motion quilting and Dodie has insight to share using that new Texture Magic. I am excited!

Ian & Darcy have been here since Tuesday night. I forget how busy 11 & 12 year olds are! They have been great. Back to mom today when we all meet for a fish fry at Buffalo Brew Pub!

I have learned:

  1. This woman is the man! Check this blog out for really great idea's using things from the hardware store.  I truly love her design wall options.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Belle Armoire + My Cuff = Published!

I posted this cuff on my blog back in April of last year. I got this mag in the mail Saturday and thought nothing of a free magazine...really, not a second thought about WHY I may have gotten it. Last night I picked it up for bedtime perusing. I was flipping through when what did I see?MY CUFF!!!!!! On page 73!!!!I was actually jumping on the bed! Melissa came running...she was excited for me. Michael was on his way home and was equally happy and proud! It has been a goal of mine for a few years, to get something of mine published in a magazine. This is only my second submission. I am elated!

I have learned:

  1. It feels really good to see something I created in print! I like it. I must do it again!

  2. Dean is an optimum my livingroom. Out with senior dog food.

  3. Is Christopher Meloni leaving Law & Order SVU or not? I hope not. Manly man.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

CQ Mermaid...Heavenly Mane

I got a Mermaid today! Kathy's block is here and the work on it is beautiful. Jody did spectacular work on this maidens mane! Wow, really something special. I love it. Carolyn is a painter and she worked her magic on the flesh...notice the highlights, the eyes, the shading on the skin, even the mermaid's tears are realistic. Art.
Now what to do? I am focused immediately on the other mermaid in the upper left quadrant and the fish in the lower left. I need to mull it over and then it will dawn on me (much like the proverbial lightbulb moment) and I will get to it.

Visited a nice quilt shop this morning, Pine Grove Quilt Shop, with Tracy & Melanie. 3700 bolts of fabric. I found 7 fabrics to my liking. I will add them to my growing Nancy Crow class fabric requirement bin. Lunch at Panera's. Yummy.

I did sew for a few minutes. I machine quilted the rest of this little art chapter 6 homework from Art Quilt Workbook.
I had to use a painting technique. I am not a painter so I used a stamp and gold acrylic paint. I decided to try that linear quilting that I really like. Black on the discharged background and antique gold on the lighter fabric. Love what that quilting does to the surface.

Tomorrow I must do much hand stitching. The CQ Mermaid, the french knots on the blue moon piece, the base on the pink silk for the Book RR page all wait for my nimble (slightly arthritic) fingers.

I have learned:
  1. $45,637.85 raised by St John Fisher students at the Teddi Dance for Love benefiting Camp Good Days & Special Times. Karyssa and Michael were on the planning committee. 24 hour dance. Nice.
  2. Catnip + Chester + Fiona = amusement. WWF kitty style!
  3. This blogger has a great idea for a simple light box. Why didn't I think of that?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Flower Slices....3 done, 2 to go

I met with my little art quilt group this week. A few months ago Martha enlarged a picture of a convolvulus flower which is a morning glory. She cut it into 5ths and we each got a slice to interpret any way we chose. 3 of us finished ours and I think they will look really great when all 5 are put together! Sharon's on the left uses satin ribbon for the lighter blue...she also painted highlights on that part and the yellow is actually paint over the white fabric. Elaine's in the center is machine appliqued and beading all over to add sparkle...she also put a tiny bug charm in the middle. My piece is on the right. I used snippets of polyesters, "painted" my flower using the pattern underneath foundation. I layed tulle over the top and thread painted over the entire piece to keep snips in check.
It is our first group slice project! I would love to do one that has buildings of some sort in it.

Last summer all 5 of us took a class from Jane Sassaman. Martha is the only one of us that has now finished the piece we were to have designed in the class. Check out her blog to see a picture of it. It is beautiful.

Inspired by Jody's Book, we are going to make our own fabric paper next month when we meet. FUN!

I have learned:

  1. I live 886' above sea level
  2. Sumptuous Surfaces intrigues me.
  3. Melody Gardot, My One and Only Thrill.....more Sunday music.
  4. I love this quilt.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jody's Beautiful Fabric Paper Book for our RR....1st Round

Jody's book came last week, the first round of the Mixed Media Book RR. It is beautiful! The covers base is fabric paper...she used muslin and added torn hand made paper and silk cocoon fibers with a 50/50 glue to water mixture. It is really cool.
The fibers on the right are attached to tags that Jody has recorded people who have inspired her to be creative. How clever. She has premade tags in the back cover that she plans to record how the other 4 woman in our RR have inspired her. Each tag rest in its own folder tucked between layers.

She has invited us to try a new technique for our page.
I love Beryl Taylor. She has a great book called Mixed Media Explorations and has been published in Quilting Arts many times. I spent some time last night stitching texture into pink silk dupioni. Now to the next bit....I want to try to do my interpretation, on smaller scale, of her hearts on squares with beads project. Waiting for some fray check to dry!
This RR promises to be motivating. Each woman has their own style so we get to put our own mark in each others book. Colleen, Jody, Nicki, Denise & me! Great drama...couldn't be better!

Trying to move along on the Iron Quilter project from our after meeting sew time last month. I have been hand stitching on it...some static-y long & short seed stitching and lots of french knots. The exercise was to take a bag brought in my another participant and make a small quilt from the contents.....2 hour time frame! I only managed to get the design done. The fabrics in my bag were really different, so it felt made for me! The french knots are stitched in variegated thread following a very free form organic flow. Liking it, but it is wreaking havoc on my fingers!!

Tomorrow my little art quilt group meets. Always love that meeting. I don't have a pic of my part of the flower slice yet, but maybe I will get one of all or a few of them together tomorrow. Martha enlarged a photo she took of a pretty blue flower, cut it into 5th's and each of us are to make our bit any way we want. I did the snippets thing..."painting" my petal, covered with tulle and thread painted to finish. I love how it turned out and was fun to do.
We are still using the Art Quilt Workbook as a homework guide and chapter 6 is using paint in some way. I used antique gold acrylic paint & 2 stamps. I have it fused to a piece of the black discharged fabric I made a bit ago...the orange snow fence one that made a great pattern. It is hanging on my design board, aka as my refrigerator. It is not finished, so not pic yet!

I have learned:

  1. I have a "frozen shoulder". Meds have relieved the burn. Hoping PT gets things working again. I need to be able to raise my arm higher than 90 degrees again!
  2. We talked my sister into adopting Dillon, a 10 month old orange tabby! He is so sweet! Now we both have 3 cats! We are both the last people you would have pegged for cat lovers.....but we are!
  3. I will have a studio in a few months! Melissa is moving out...I am claiming the entire upstairs (1 1/2 story house). I will need to take a dummy wall out, fix the drywall, paint creamy white and look into having a light fixture installed along the pitch in the ceiling and move all my goods up there! It will be so nice to have a designated space.
  4. Natural gas explosions always catch my interest. I work for our regional gas company.
  5. The (!) light in my Trailblazer was telling me the tire pressure was too low, not that there is an issue with the brakes as indicated in the manual. Good to know.
  6. My friend Charlyn in Mississippi (THAT is as fun to type as it is to spell out loud!) sent me a this excellent surprise, Bruce's Roling Stone cover on a tote bag....I love it! It is already in use. I will carry it proudly! Thanks Charlyn!

Monday, February 1, 2010

SISTER CQ Block...My Homemade Holiday Swap Gift that I LOVE!

I am participating in a year long Homemade Holiday Swap. Our first holiday is Valentine's Day. I received the most thoughtful gift from Whippy from Wyanet IL.
She read my blog and saw the picture I posted in December of my sister & I when we were little. It is a favorite of mine. She printed that picture onto fabric and used it as the center of the most adorable CQ heart block! She also used red velvet's since I had mentioned we were wearing red velvet jumpers in that photo.
It is precious and I will treasure it always.
Thank you very much Whippy, for making this gift for me!

I made, what seemed simple enough for me, a little bag from a Quilts & More Magazine. This was the project that exasperated me a few weeks ago. The zippers were a challnge; I had to twist for a LONG time, 4 lengths of 4 pieces of floss to make the strap....I used the seam ripper alot! BUT I managed to correct some problem areas and mailed to OJM along with a very cute beaded heart pin. My friend Elaine, after hearing my tale of woe, offered to help me out. She did the beaded heart for me...I just added some silk ribbon around the edges and finished it with a backing.
Thanks Elaine!

The next holiday is Easter/Spring. I don't know who I will be creating for yet. I must not procrastinate this time around though!

I have learned:
  1. PINK's performance at last night's Grammys was a highlight. I love her distinctive voice and the fact that she wasn't angry made it interesting.. Circ de Soleil cool.
  2. 6 years 2 months til I can retire!!!