Monday, November 23, 2009

The Flamingo is Done

I finished the Flamingo in October, just in time to send an entry to the Quilting National Florida II show. The show is organized by the Quilters of Alachua County Day Guild and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
I am pleased to report that I was accepted into the Spring 2010 show. It will be on display at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainsville, FL from February through April. This is a juried show and there are entrants from all over the country.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hanging On

I watched a DVR'd episode of "Sewing with Nancy (Zieman)" last weekend with my husband about Quilting with Ombre Fabrics. Jim couldn't get over the quilt that was shown, and he kept telling me..."you can make one of those." I really appreciate when my husband gets excited about a quilt so I took him up with the challenge. We drove down to Fabric Shack and purchased a graduated screen print fabric from the Caryl Bryer Fallert line.
I made this little top with only 2 fabrics. I fussy cut some leaves and the trees and background are from the ombre fabric. I was surprised how fun (and freeing) this quilt was to make. I always stress about raw edges. This time I didn't and I just used a glue stick to tack the pieces in place. I also used Wonder Under to stick the leaves to the trees. I'm calling this quilt "Hanging On" because it reminds me of the last nice Fall days before the Winter comes. The kind of days where the leaves are so pretty with color and the day is warm like an Indian Summer.
In the episonde, Nancy Zieman tells you to use a permanent marker like a sharpy and draw on the tree making extra leaves, twigs and bark. I was a little intimidated to make my marks permanent, but what the heck, I gave it a try. It was really fun. The top was made and basted in just a few evenings. I'll be quilting it soon. I was so impressed with this direct way of working that I ordered more fabrics online so I can do some more playing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Preston is playing on the floor - getting "belly" time as my son calls it.

I know he has something to say. His face tells the story. He is probably telling me about how it looks to be at ground level.

I've been thinking about the "worm's eye view" (figuratively speaking) since I don't believe worms have eyes. I think it would make an unexpected and interesting viewpoint for an art quilt. Time to get out my sketchbook and play!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Alive and Kicking!!!

I am BACK! I feel great and my health is on a comeback. In May I was diagnoized with lung cancer - which proved to be incorrect. After lots of tests, as it turns out I have a lung disease called scaroidosis which looks alot like cancer. I feel better than I have for a long time and hope to be posting soon. I feel bad that it has taken me so long to get moving again - but I do what I can. Hope to have your comments in my blog.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Flamingo Sunset

Started my next personal quilt. It will probably be called "A Flamingo Sunset" because of the bright color scheme and the subject matter. I'll post a picture of the progress. I just got started last night. There are 33 fabrics used in the quilt, but this is always subject to change. I'm stitching on a background foundation called "sewers cloth" or "soil separator cloth" that is used in trenches for sewers and drainage systems in fields. You can get it at Lowes and it costs about $.08 - $.11 cents a foot depending on the thickness. I like it because it is non-woven and doesn't really stretch. You can draw on it, but still see through it. It is made of a polyester material which is very soft and has a great drape. It doesn't really change the feel of any fabric. If you are interested in a sample, I'll send the first 10 people samples if you send me an email request.

To get started on the quilt, I sketched it in my notebook. I took my drawing to Kinko's and they enlarged it to the dimensions I wanted. This worked out great. They made a few enlargement mistakes, and I kept those too! In all it cost me only about $5.00 for the full size enlargements - both an original and a reverse image. You can see this laying on my table. Then I put two sheets of freezer paper together and traced my lines to make the pattern pieces. I found a repositionable tape that is white by 3M that can be ironed without burning or melting. I got it at Lowes also. I'm using hand dyed fabrics and batiks for this project. Here are my fabric choices.

I am using my pattern on the bottom, or wrong side of the fabric because I want to see how well the colors play together - in case I need to change any. If I were 100% certain of the color placement, I would probably use the freezer paper on top - and wouldn't have had to have a reverse image of my quilt. I made a mistake of cutting too many pieces of the freezer paper pattern out at one time. This makes it hard to find the right piece you need - and I should know better and just cut as I go, but I was too excited to get started. To assemble, I iron the freezer paper pattern on the wrong side of the fabric. Roughly cut a quarter inch seam around as I trim it out and then join the pieces togeter with a basting stitch as I go, basting to the foundation. You can see several pieces here in progress.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Love to Start Projects

I realized last night that I love to start new projects. I get so wrapped up in a vision of what my next project will look like that it consumes me. I am starting a new project - supposed to be an exercise really - of trying new techniques for stitching and surface design. What starts out as an idea, flicker a spark of something to try, moves rapidly into a full blown project that keeps growing beyond the boundries I have set. If I have slept on an idea, my mind takes over and a simple project grows out of control. Am I just having a mid-life thing or am I just letting the creative self out to play? I don't know.

I found a new way to machine applique that does not involve fusing adhesive to my work. What I like about this new technique is that without thinking about what other people have done, I solved a problem that was bothering me. The problem is that when you use the fusable webbing, the glue makes the fabric applique look very flat. I am not satin stitching or zig-zaging over the raw edge, but I am using a close, small straight stitch that I stitch down before triming the applique. I'll post pictures later. I trim the applique very close to my stitching and the effect is very good. I'm not sure how well it will be secured, but my art pieces are not going to be handled too much or washed, so I don't think this will be a problem. I'd love to hear comments on this technique if you have an opinion.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thread Painting

Last night I finished up a "thread painting" which was discussed in the Art Quilt Workbook. I decided to create a frog quilt since this is the next challenge in our Art Quilt Network group. I started my quilt about a week ago and I loved the process! It was so very much fun. I don't think I would have been as happy if I had a limited selection of thread, but as it turns out, last year I bought a Guterman thread case/sampler with about a hundrend spools of thread in every color. Lots to choose from - it was perfect. Green is one of my favorite colors so I had even more choices.

I also felt very free to use raw edge applique with the thread work. I didn't use an adhesive to "glue" the fabric on my base - instead, I placed the untrimmed, loose fabric scraps (right side facing out) with the thread painting stacked next as I used the outline of the frog and stitched from the back of my work to applique the piece in place. Then working from the front, I trimmed the applique close to the stitched edge with scissors. Later, as I quilting the piece, I ran over most of the raw edges. It looks secure, yet not glued down. It has some dimension.

Something I learned about this is that the thread tension will change as you layer each thread color. Also, I used a vintage linen napkin as my base and I loved the softness of the napkin, but it had a tendency to shrink in - even though I used a heavy interfacing to stablize the work. I had read in "Quilting Arts" that for interesting colors, you could use two threads at once, but I was not successful at this. I found that it looked better and was more painterly to use the threads individually. I also found that I got different results with the same two colors depending on which thread was sewn first. I will definitely do this again, but I'll probably dye my base before starting. I loved the vintage linen, so I will be visiting antique shops soon for more of these wonderful canvas fabrics. Anyway, very fun!!! Give it a try.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Going to Florida

It is rare that I post more than once in a week, let alone twice in one day, but I am excited about a vacation we will be taking with Jim's girls in Florida in July. Yipee! I can't wait to see them and have fun in Florida. Since my birthday is the week before (July 5th,) it will be a great gift to see them and have Jim and Sophie relaxing in the sunshine! I'll post back about our trip. We have fixed up the house and have a fun tropical theme going on with the decorating. Our camel "Joe" resides in the Bar room. When I was there the first part of the month I found a great "Bud" neon sign that has a palm tree and fits in with the fun in Joe's crib. When we were selecting furniture for the house, we shopped at thrift and consignment stores. Jim would have selected all wicker, but I wouldn't let him. He moved from a wicker fetish to tin wall art. We are off that kick now - (thank goodness) - but honestly we had so much fun decorating together. Click on the Slideshow to view pictures.

I had dinner at a Tumbleweed resturant Monday night before an Art Study Group Meeting. I ordered a fajita and it came back smiling at me. I may use this for the subject of a new quilt "When life brings you onions..."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Preston is Almost Here!

I am so excited about our grandbaby Preston who will be here soon. This is a picture of his 3-D Ultra-sound and the photo is incredible. I am probably going to work on an art quilt featuring this picture. He looks like an angel. The photo has so much detail - it is God's miracle!
The dark hair like part of the image is not actually hair. I can't wait to meet him. He is already over 5 pounds, but he has a lot of growing to do. I am so happy for my son and his wife.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's been a while!

I'm back. I haven't posted for almost a year, and a lot has happened this year. I am currently working on an Art Quilt Study from the workbook of Jane Davila and Elin Waterston with several members of the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network. I am continually inspired by the ladies in the group. I hope to be more productive in my endeavors soon. I have several ideas brewing. The theme I have choosen to work with is locks, keys, hardware from doors and handles of all sorts. I carefully thought this out and at the time believed that this would be the right choice for me. What I found was that I am less inspired with the theme than I thought and I am constantly pulled in other directions which are off theme. We are half way through the workbook and I'm going to stick it out with the theme I choose. I'm hoping to post more frequently, which should be easy since it has been a year since my last post.