Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring: it's coming again

Actually it came and went.  I wrote this post last April and just finished it.

Okay -- maybe not here in Wisconsin.  But for most of the northern hemisphere, it is.  My guild, Lodi Valley Quilters Guild, has a spring challenge each year that coincides with Quilt Academy.  A choice of three classes are offered from a long list of possibilities; it's a really big deal.  I'm on the committee (I redesigned the brochure this year) so I felt more than obligated to finish my challenge for the quilt display we did with it.

The challenge fabric was this floral.  
 Totally not my style.  But I had to use some of it.  On the front.  Hmmm...

So I got this idea of spring animals frolicking in the flowers. I ironed fusible web to the entire fat quarter.  Then I sat at a meeting and later in front of the TV and cut out individual flowers.  I made it easy on myself and used textile glue to fasten the sheep parts to the background for quilting.

I pinned a thin cotton batt to the back and stitched all the lambs' wool with Aurifil thread.  Here are the finished lambs before I cut away the batting and layered it with the final wool batting.

I will post a photo of the finished piece in a week or two after the show on April 5.  I might have some fun photos of the guild members then too.

Okay, this is not true.  I will post the finished project sometime this month.  OK.  I lied again.  It has been nearly a year and here it is!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Structure: How I did it

My list of things to do has long included seeing the colorful row houses that one sees in western Europe.    So for this challenge, I took the structure thing a bit literally and drew a row of fantasy buildings.  This was a piece of washed cotton that I ironed to a bit of freezer paper to stabilize it for the drawing.  

After I finished the drawing, I layered it with a wool batt and stabilizer on the back.  Then I stitched over it with my machine using white and dark grey cotton threads.

Then I rinsed it to get rid of the blue pen.  After it dried, I ironed it to flatten it.  

I used Derwent Inktense pencils to color in the buildings.  Those scissors were handy for snipping threads.  

 I used these three different textile mediums.  Why?  Because I felt like it.

This is a bit of a close up of the penciled piece before I used the mediums on it.

 The bright green building on the left and the partial one to the left of that have medium on them.  After I finished the penciling I brushed on the diluted medium.  I haven't done this in a while and forgot how much it spreads.

And a much better photograph of the finished piece.  Actually, it's not finished. I think it needs more quilting.   I'll post again after I quilt the sky.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Structure Challenge

"A Row by Any Other Name"

I created this for the "Structure Challenge" at Art Quilts Around the World.  Hopefully, I will get it together in the next few days and put together a couple of posts detailing how I did it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Leaf Warm-up

I used this wonderful tutorial for an oak leaf and acorn to warm up.

It's available at:

  And the finished motif with an additional line of quilting around the leaves.  I used a piece of my own hand-dyed cotton sateen, a wool batt, and a bit of decor-bond to stabilize the back. I think it would be nice as part of a bag.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monochromatic 2 Challenge - Construction

In the previous post I showed the finished piece.  Following is the sequence of construction.

I drew the outline, some of the spots, and the eye on this commercial batik with a washaway marker.

The inks I used are lined up and you can see a tiny sample of each color on the side of the fabric next to the bottles of inks.

Using temporary adhesive spray I attached a piece of wool batting to the wrong side and stitched around the outline with a medium orange thread.

After the initial stitching, I inked in the eye, spots, and shadow.

I arranged all the threads I might want to use in order of value.

This is a closer view of the inked portion before I added more thread. 

I used straight stitching on the eye with four different threads.  I used a couple of different weights because I wanted a lot of color and texture variation.  I used a free motion zig zag stitch to give the rest of the gecko the appearance of scales, using brown thread on the spots and orange for the rest. The blue ink was rinsed away after this.

The back before I cut away the excess batting.

Then it was layered with another piece of wool batt and DecorBond, then quilted.

This is my model in repose in another shot. She is actually more gold/yellow and black.  I used my artistic license to make her orange and brown for the challenge.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monochromatic 2 Challenge

16.5" by 11.75"

This is my work for the "Monochromatic 2" challenge at Art Quilts Around the World. There is terrific texture that doesn't show up in this photo because it is cloudy today.  I will replace the photo when the sun comes out.

A detail of the eye.

And the back side.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I have not been a very good blogger of late.  Life keeps getting in the way of blogging.  I was invited to participate in a blog hop by my good friend Beth (who blogs here).  I was supposed to nominate three more to participate, but I procrastinated too long and couldn't find any one.  So any of my regular blogging friends or anyone who is not yet a friend who would like to participate and be one please comment below and I'll add you to the post.

I am supposed to answer four questions:

What am I currently working on?  Well.  I have several projects going on.  The photo above is the one I promised a month or so ago when I expressed my dissatisfaction with my current projects.  I got out the Caribbean hand dyes and paired them with white and viola!  Beautiful ocean colors that just make me happy, happy, happy!

And they pair so well with these beautiful greys that are so popular and readily available right now. 

Another project I am working on was going to be a blog post.  I will share it briefly here, but there will be more in the future.

Hexies!  I took this class on a whim at my guild's annual quilt academy and had no idea how utterly addictive these are.  

The other thing I am working on is my monochrome challenge for Art Quilts Around the World.  It will be revealed on the blog tomorrow and I will post here after that.  Stay tuned...

How does my stuff differ from others?  Probably because of my utter fearlessness to go where others fear to tread.  I mix traditional with contemporary with experimental.  I love to try new things and incorporate them into old things.

Why do I create what I do?  Simple.  It's cheaper than therapy.  I prefer to make stuff.  The alternative?  Ax murderer?

How does my writing process work?  This is a tough one.  I am a writer by trade and training.  I love to write.  Sometimes I include poems and short stories on my blog.  I would include food, but I fear it would take over.  I made a decision when I started this blog that I would focus on fiber and visual art, so adding some photography is ok.  I will save the food for another forum.  

Now thanks to Beth, I have given up more personal information than I am really comfortable with. I am trying to be a better blogger, but I have teens living with me and I would rather make stuff than write about it right now.  I have a couple of posts drafted, so I expect to improve.  Now I have to dress in my mother-of-the-teen clothes and go to back to school night.  -back soon!