Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bra for a Cause 2010..."Rebirth"

This precious vintage buttlerfly was adorned with....
pretty little crystals. Adorning my....
Bra for a Cause 2010.
I picked up some faux hydrangea flowers and set to pulling the petals and leaves off the stem. I glued the leaves over the cups as a base....glued the petals over that and added crystals in the center of each for a little sparkle. The butterfly was a great buy at Sally Ann's a while back. It has been hanging on my fridge aka, design wall, just waiting for a perfect application. Pink satin ribbon replaces the straps. I like it!

Sneak peek at my next project for my art quilt group...Bakers Dozen, the online group of 13 women making art according to the current theme. "Beads, Baubles and Bangles". I am so glad we decided to do anything, not just a flat quilt! I have a vision, but you will have to wait til September 12 (I believe) to see what that is! Hope it keeps working out. If not, I have a plan B.

Tomorrow is another outing to Buffalo for the Elmwood Art Fest. They are calling for 90's! Should be a good time.

I volunteered to teach an art quilt class at the COF (Circle of Friends) HGTV messageboard quilt retreat in April. Of course I said yes having NO idea what I would be able to teach in 2 hours! Saying you are teaching an art quilt class is like saying you are teaching a quilt class.....generic, non discript,limitless opportunities. So I guess it's up to me to decide what art quilt will be for my class!
A technique that translates into an art quilt or becomes the base for other techniques seems the only answer. The time frame dictates what is possible. I really didn't want a sewing machine to be needed since many women are flying and not bringing a machine. SO fusible was the answer.
Most people want to leave a class with SOMETHING they can use SO I will take a hand dyed/painted FQ with discernible light and dark area's....
one outcome...
It is just laid stitching. I did this (below) with the marbled fabrics from Sarah Terry. It served as a base for the quilt.
(Not a great picture)

I have learned:
  1. Dean, my 83 lb greyhound, stepped on my foot this hurt...bad. It is swollen now. I can't bend it. Same toe that a 2 liter of Pepsi broke over 20 years ago. 
  2. Ahhh. Pedicure. An hour of  bliss and pretty toes too!
  3. Mailed my UFO to Quilting Arts. It's the Blue IAQ. Will they or won't they use it for their new segment, Save My UFO! that gives real people advice on finishing a piece? Maybe that thing will be done yet!
  4. Mailed my Nancy Crow quilt to my friend in North Carlina for some custom quilting. Threarica is a talented long arm quilter that is up for the challenge. I included a quilting "map".Here's another look at it....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Applique and Ina Randall's Art Quilts

Yesterday, after our monthly quilt guild meeting, a member of my guild gave us an applique class. This is my first applique block and it doesn't look half bad! Of course I loved the process...hand stitching. I used a thin clear plastic overlay with the pattern on it instead of on the fabric.
We had Ina Randall, an are fiber artist do a trunk show of wonderful things for program at the guild meeting. Tracy & I hunted her down at the Amherst Quilt Show a few months ago after we saw some of her very interesting and beautiful quilts! I love her aesthetic. Reusing, repurposing and innovation are a normal part of her process.
This underwater scene was arranged over a convergence (Ricky Tims) quilt. It includes painted fabrics, beading and unusual materials.
Ina bought a card she loved, contacted the artist to ask if she could interpret it on a quilt. The owl is all thread painted.
Black tulle overlays this landscape. I especially liked the twisted fabric tree trunk.
She also does traditional. Note the appliqued leaves across the top. But I love the back just as much....
I think many of us left inspired by all her gorgeous creativity!

I went and volunteered for 2 more years as V.P./Programs person. I was trying not to, but Elaine sid she would be my co-chair so that makes it somewhat easier. Two heads and four hands are better. So I best get a move on for 2011.

Our quilt show is only 2 months away. We are having George Siciliano do a workshop on Friday & Saturday and a lecture Friday night. I already have the day off for Fridays class. He is said to be a real "hoot". If you live in the wetern NY area and are interested in the workshops, there is still room!

I am almost done with my Bra for a Cause. I attached pink ribbon straps, just have to tack it to the padded hanger and post a pic. They will be displayed at GoART! all September before auction in October. I seem to have persuaded at least one person to make one....Elaine.

All quilting done on Freedom! Today I worked around Fiona who thought every time it was still it was an invitation to lay on it and nap! Just have to trim it up and finish edges somehow.

I finally finished my work on Jody's cool coffee themed CQ block. I love this piece. Calm autumn colors. Fun to do. I will get it to you this week  Jody!
The bit at the 8 o'clock-ish spot is a bit of a fabric belt I picked up at Sally Ann's. Folded it and stitched with the brass hardware left on it. I used semi-fabric vine with leaves, top. which is actually a scrapbook item. Layed that over a great lace I trimmed out to look like X's and 3 yo-yo's as flowers. Jody, this picture does not do it justice. You will love it, almost as much as you love your coffee!!

I had to include a picture of her journal that accompanied this block. She made it from paper lunch bags. I love this idea.
These are Colleen's cool front and back for her book in our Book RR. This has been the best RR. We are all on the same page (!) Each book is different and you are inspired to do good work. Colleen's style is closest to mine. I "felt" these when I took them out. I am taking her lead and gathering bits and bobs of what I love and sew them down. I want to put all my other obligations aside to work on this but it will have to wait.

I have agreed to teach something art quilty at a retreat in Charlotte, NC next April. What to do? I don't want to have a kit and have everyone do the same thing....I thought maybe having participants work on backgrounds. I have 3 ideas that could encourage further creativity in mind. I would have 2 hours, so not alot of time to get very involved. I also thought of  doing some painting on fabric techniques, much like our workshop with Barb Murak. I must develop a plan!

I have learned:
  1. To use a zip tie to make a stem for my applique flower. 
  2. Project Runway. Hmm. I like Valerie and Gretchen's work.
  3. How to make sauce from tomatoes! Yum. 
  4. New quilt shops withing 20 mile radius. Hope they are open on Sundays!
  5. I decided to have my Nancy Crow quilt machine quilted. I just can't push it through my machine. I want it to look good so I hope my friend says she can do it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Canadian Sunset

One of the gorgeous sunsets in Sunset Cove, Callander, Ontario, Canada. My first successful try at a panoramic shot. This was the day we actually had the fire going in the cottage all day. Good times.

I finally started my Bra for a Cause today. I pulled the petals and  leaves off a hydrangea stem of fake flowers and glued them to the cups of the 36C that is a specified requirement. It is still drying. 8 hours later. Humidity not conducive to quick dry time. I have a vintage butterfly motif I picked up at Sally Ann's a couple years ago that will be the finishing touch to the piece.

I broke more needles quilting Freedom. Ugh. It is thick in some places and I realized I had to take one stitch at a time in them to avoid the breakages. I defined the belly button, outlined the curves with some pebble stitching and quilted wavy lines on the red stripes. I need to stitch white on the white stripes still. I know why I don't machine quilt much. I hate struggling with the thing....mangling and rolling and pushing constantly.

I had hoped I would make more progress on various projects I have going but just couldn't get in the zone today. I was all over the place...mixing house/yard work in with some creative endeavor. I did manage to finish Jody's CQ block. She is going to love it!

I have learned:
  1. How to take a panoramic pic!
  2. "Shutter Island". Pretty good movie. I was advised to watch it just for the ending. Worth it.
  3. Lauren won "So You Think You Can Dance". 

 Here is a great little house in the Buffalo Cottage District on the garden walk. I pretty interesting sculpture on the front lawn and....

 Her backyard "lily pond" was a small built in with vintage cups and saucers. Also showcased her crocheted potholder collection and....

 this awesome painting incorporating vintage gloves!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CQmagonline~Worth the Time!

I just perused the current issue on CQMagonline. Do take some time to have a look at it and when you see how great it is, check out the past issues. I especially liked the article on stitching trees this issue. The mini CQ quilt is really cool. That would be a fun project. Composite flower motifs from Allie Aller is a fun way to use fabrics, artificial flowers and threads to make a great dimensional flower. Really, every article has some great bit of inspiration to offer. I will be stitching that little beaded frog on my CQ flower!
Last night my little art quilt group met at my house to paint some fabrics. I will admit, I was ill prepared. Having come off 2 of the last 3 weeks being out of town and of course that didn't get to a store to buy more fabric paints. BUT I did manage to create quite a few pieces that I really love. I used a great gold paint to stamp 2" circles with a piece of  foam. My daughter, Melissa, and her future brother-in-law, Cameron, came to try their hand at this too. Melissa actually made a pretty cool piece that I will have to use in some way! (no pics yet)

I am watching "So You Think You Can Dance" in HD on my son's TV. Nice. I need one of these new-fangled flat screens. So, if I were to vote....Lauren is great. I have loved Kent all along, he is an endearing little guy, but Lauren is consistently good.

I have learned:

  1. Well, apparently I am healthy enough to drive our pick up trucks at work now...which all now have DOT #'s on them. I had to have my first DOT (Dept. of  Transportation) physical this morning.
  2. Brooklyn's Finest. Not as good as I had hoped. High murder count. Too much unclearly going on. To me....last night.
  3. I am reaching that "age". Wakes & funerals. A good old co-worker died yesterday. 58. Heart. I haven't worked with him for 15 years but kept in that used-to-share-the-same-load kind of touch. 
  4. Urraim. My son, Micheal, had this tattooed on his arm a while ago. He carefully researched Gaelic (tribute to my Leitrim, Ireland born father, his namesake) words that reflected how he felt about his family.
Isn't this the greatest piece of garden art? Buffalo Garden Walk is always a surprise. I would LOVE this piece in my house!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

CQ Pics and Other Project Progress

Back to reality. A wonderful week in unlpugged bliss in Canada. The weather was not cooperative...Friday we actually had a fire going all day in the cottage, but I can sit and stitch just as well there as on the sandy it awesome.
It was a no cell phone, laptop week as I don't have an international phone plan and was not willing to pay the extra bucks, so phone was actually turned off for 7 days.
I managed to sew many-a-seam on CQ flower petals. I made these pieces (round center and 6 petals in red and green) 1 1/2 years ago. Not much stitching on them as most of my CQ stitching is on RR blocks that end up in my friends hands! I will get a picture of the "idea" and post soon.
Today was spent working hard on the manor. Seemingly 50 lbs of weeds were tugged from the front gardens over 4 hours this morning. Ugh.
Cleaning various surfaces in the kitchen & bathroom took more precious moments away from my creating time! Any woman reading this knows the shock of returning from a great vacation only to realize all the work from all those days is waiting for you to catch up on in mere hours. Whatever.
Before I left last week I mailed off my "Quilter's choice" gift in the ongoing Homemade Holiday Swap I am participating in on HGTV message board. This round had us doing whatever we wanted, which for me was tougher. I like the assigned theme that goes with the other holidays.
I had planned to send Julie the silk scarf I made in my katazome class.
I should have left it alone. I thought the resist image was too faint, boring, anticlimactic. So I over dyed it using Dynaflow fabric paints thinking the purple would settle into the light areas and darken the lavender but what really happened is.......WHAT?!.....the image was lost. Totally. Not discernible. uh oh.
So I had to come up with a plan B.
I pieced a feminine block and stabbed away...many an hour, right up to my lunch on the day it had to be mailed! Hence the pic of the pillow on my front seat.
I do love how it came out. I think Julie did too.
The next theme is Autumn/Halloween/Thanksgiving. Our choice. Love Autumn colors and leaves are always a thrill but like Halloween too. Not even remotely sure what I am going to make.
Here are a few close-ups of the pillow.

I took these after the pillow was stuffed, thus the unusual angles!
The dyed birds lace and fan lace are from my friend Nicki's etsy site. You will find the link on her blog.The glorious fringe was from my friend Thearica. Thanks!
The button cluster (and normally I am not all about them) recycles vintage buttons. Love that.

Bakers Dozen  is the group of 13 women that have been gathered (online) to share and encourage each other to make art quilts. We get to try things incorporating a theme that each of us has come up with for the ensuing challenge. FREEDOM was the first challenge that Karen gave us. Interpreted any way we want, in any size and any technique. I had this sketch from last year. Loved it and knew I would use it someday.
Here is my quilt (approx 22"x30", since it's not done yet I am ishing the measurement!)
I started machine quilting it today. I really like how it has come out. I made the red fabric with felt, sheer fabric and my Singer er10 embellishing machine I wrote about a bit ago. The female form is cheesecloth.
It represents me and all women who are fortunate to live in a country that recognizes women as equal and gives us many opportunities that women in other countries do not have.
Our current challenge theme is Beads, Baubles & Bling from Colleen. She is a wonderfully talented jewelry designer.

These are spectacular. So it isn't hard to see where she got her motivation from! I am not sure where I am going with this. I did sketch out an idea in Canada last week. ??
I have been busy.

I have learned:
  1. How to do a tequila shot. Lick salt, drink up, bite lime.
  2. I like Margarita's. 
  3. I don't like boats on water. Especially choppy-lake bodies of water. 
  4. How to Zoomba. On the beach. No, we didn't care what the "neighbors" thought. It was fun!
  5. I can actually turn on an ipod and navigate the playlist. I need to learn to download songs now. 
  6. My laptop is getting cranky in its old age. The audio is going. It is slow. I need to back up my files. Of course that would entail me knowing what I was doing to do that.
  7. Cliffy  is doing a trial run at Melissa's. He has been lost without her these past 4 months. She missed him as well. He is a missable cat.
  8. Love my Cupids Arrow phone cover.