Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marbling Results

After spending the entire afternoon marbling with my daughter, we have six beautiful fat quarters.  Yep -- it took us that long.  But we had fun.  If you click on the photos, you can see more of the detail.
This fabric was originally turquoise.  I got a little heavy handed with the greens and there's not much turquoise showing.   It's the only one that has enough paint to affect the hand of the fabric.  I've never done that before when marbling. Usually, the paint floats in such a thin layer that the fabric stays soft.
This one is probably my favorite of this batch -- I wasn't sure about the black and turquoise dots when I first pulled it off the size, but it has grown on me -- now I really like them.
This was a pale striped hand-dye -- blue and yellow.  I like the soft colors, even though I can't think of what I will do with this.
This was a snow-dye that I thought was kind of ugly.  I used it to pick up paint that was left in the tray after another piece, so there is only a little marbling on the right side.  I put this on the to-be-marbled-again pile.  Yes, you can do that -- some of the most complex and beautiful marbles that I've seen are over-marbled.
This was my daughter's first attempt.  It's the one that I showed here as the paint on the size.  It looks much brighter on the fabric because the size was a little murky from use.
This was her second attempt.  We had trouble with the purple -- it kept sinking.  I wound up mixing new color for her.  The stuff in my little bottles had thickened and couldn't be revived.

I think I like hers best -- would it be wrong for me to add them to my stash?  We did use my supplies...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Magpie -- Mag 38 "Bones"

Mom didn't want to be buried.
"Dead people should be done
with taking up space here."  So we
scattered the ashes late one afternoon.

Unlike Grandma, whose grave is crowded
with the bones of those she had dug up
and moved when the ground changed hands,
"They're not spending eternity in that

heathen place."  So today they rest in a place
on a continent they never visited while
alive.  "There won't be any rest for anyone
in there," Pop pointed out.  Too many

talkers -- too much noise.  I feel like I
can hear their chatter when I visit -- two
whom I knew and two known only
from the stories Mom told. Like her,

they died too young.  It's nice to visit
and talk to the stones.  After
wind scatters the ashes, there's
nowhere to go to talk to the bones.

-kls 2010

This was written in response to the picture above which is courtesy of Magpie Tales.  Write your own and link here to share with the rest of the gang.

So Happy Halloween!  My kids love it for the candy -- I love it for the kids' costumes.  I was asked to make some costumes yesterday(!), but I declined.  I told them that had they asked a month ago, I would have been happy to make them.  The weekend of, not so much.

So now I have to go sample some candy -- it you're going to hand it out, you have to check it out.  It's a public service.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Marbling Fun

I have tried marbling with inks on shaving cream and I will be trying thickened dyes on shaving cream, but for my money, you just can't beat marbling with paints on a size.

These pieces are from a couple of weeks ago.  I gave the best one to my friend Judy who blogged about it here.

There are "mistakes" in these that an experienced marbler may notice, but because it's fabric, the mistakes are merely design opportunities.  Marbling is a good way to perk up those not so lovely fabrics.
The fabric is soaked in a solution of alum, then air dried.  It has to be done within 24 hours of marbling because alum "tenderizes" the fabric and will cause the fabric to disintegrate if it stays on for too long.  I air dry it because it's very sensitive to heat and I am afraid to use my dryer or iron on it.  The alum is a mordant which makes the paint stick to the fabric.  I had problems today because it was a bit breezy and the fabric kept whipping around and folding in on itself.  It needs to hang straight to have a nice even coating of the mordant.

I use something called "Methyl Cel" that I get from Dharma Trading or Prochemical and Dye.  It is called a "size" -- we refer to it as "the goo" -- and it's a lot like loose Jello.  We float the paints on top and using tools that I made, we move the paints around until we're satisfied, then lower the treated fabric onto the paint.  The fabric is then pulled off the size and gently swished around in a bucket full of water.  I let it hang out to dry, then after curing the paint for a couple of days, I heat set it with my iron.  After a gentle wash and dry, it's ready to use.

Sometimes the paint left in the tray is prettier than the stuff that floated.  I always forget to save a piece of fabric to soak up this stuff -- today I did use a paper towel for one bit that was left.

My daughter and I spent her day off school today doing this and I will post pictures of our results in a day or two.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Monday Again!

The blue/green quilt blocks are up on my design wall today.  I have finished all of them and now I'm trying to figure out the best way to set them.  I think I'm going to have to piece some borders to tie this all together.

To see other design walls this Monday, check out Judy's blog here.
And yesterday, the stupid fake-fruit tree looked pretty again with water dripping from its fake fruit.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Pelican is Finished!

"When Will We Ever Learn: Gulf Coast, Summer 2010"
31" x 42"

Hand-dyed cottons, cotton threads, wool batt, oil paint sticks

This was created for Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists' show, "Turning Point."   Works will be displayed from January 17 through April 3, 2011,  in Gallery 1 at the Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street,  Madison, Wisconsin.  

While watching the horror in the gulf coast unfold this summer, I was devastated by the pictures of the oil-soaked wildlife struggling to survive.  I hope this disaster will be a turning point for us and lead to more responsible use and stewardship of our natural resources.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Magpie -- Mag 37

Deep water, flooded culverts,
young pup unleashed on a highway.
I turn to you, spaniel-eyed,
heart wide, blood pounding
through -- thrilled, yet terrified

Tangled sheets, a battleground,
love's struggle -- twining testament --
lovely proof framed on a wall
above:  love's consequence

A sham -- it's all been shallows
softly suffocated on pillows
to the sounds of trees
sighing quietly in the breeze.

-kls 2010

This poem was written in response to the picture above which is courtesy of Magpie Tales.  Write your own poem or story and link it here to share.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Backside of the Pelican

I'm not ready to unveil the front -- I'm still trying to decide on the binding.  But for you voyeurs among my readers -- here is the other side of the bird.
And a closer view of the pelican.  I used a snow-dye from last year for the backing.  I left the photos larger than I usually do, so for a closer look, click on the picture.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mag 36

In or Out

"Aw geez," he said.
And there went the marriage,
right out the window.

The door slammed shut
and the window looked out
over a ten story drop
(trees notwithstanding).
Standing there without 
nets in branches
No parachute, no gold,
no sweat.  Only surprise.

Golden light pours in 
through the window,
beckoning... a lure
like a sunrise.
She closed it
and moved on.

kls - 2010

This poem was written in response to the above picture which is courtesy of Magpie Tales.  Write your own and link here to share.

This was a strange write for me -- NO! it's not autobiographical -- my marriage is not in trouble.  Although I know that all writing is autobiographical to some degree because it is part of the person who wrote it.   And lest anyone think I do protest too much; well, there is no relationship without its trials.  I firmly believe that writers should not explicate their own work; but my father, my husband, and (occasionally) my kids read this blog.  And I hate for them to worry.  Much.

I just finished reading Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen.  I highly recommend it.  A very funny read -- I laughed out loud.  Really.  And I learned stuff.  The reason I mention this is that if you've read it, you might be thinking that I'm worried about Bob.  Nope.

Blue Green Monday

The blue/green quilt blocks are back on my design wall this Monday.  I have made some progress, but there are holes that need filling.  I really like this on-point setting.

And the pelican is nearly finished -- I need to heat-set the paint, than add just a little more before binding it.

To check out other people's design walls this Monday, click here to go to Judy's blog.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

CQ 4x4s

These are the CQ 4x4s that I created to swap.  I sent them out yesterday.
They are four inch square and each one is a stand alone bit of art with bits of fabric, threads, and beads.

Scraps of fabric were stitched to a Peltex base with the stitch and flip method.  I started with hand embroidery and switched to machine.  The beading was all done by hand.  Unfortunately, you can't see all the beads in the pictures.  But they're there.

In exchange, I have received these:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Musings

 I finished the threadwork on the pelican.  While I gather up the nerve to paint the sea, I have been working on a couple of blocks.

These are the "carpenter's wheel" blocks from Jen over at Cre8tive Quilter.  If you click here, she has links to her instructions and some paper-piecing patterns.  Because these finish at six inches, I used the fabrics that I have stashed for my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler quilt project and I will probably include these blocks there.

I haven't finished the one on the left-- it's amazing how much they "shrink up" after you sew all the pieces together.

This is my design wall for today -- to check out others, click here to go to Judy's blog. That other thing on the left is the zigzag border for the blue/green quilt.  I think I like it better with this block in the middle.  I won't commit until I reach the point of sewing them all together.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mag 35 (untitled)

Amber, garnet, tourmaline,
Autumn's jewels waft gently down
softly blanketing soon spent earth.

Falling from wanton hope and heat
to riches -- swift decay 'neath
crystalline glaze and threadbare snow.

-kls 2010

This was written in response to the picture above which is courtesy of Magpie Tales.  Write your own and link here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stick a Fork In It

It's done.

Except for the quilting.  And the binding.  But it's ready to add to the Quilted Tops Pile where it can rest (languish) for a while.  The colors are truer in the previous post -- don't know why -- same camera, same room, same light.  Hmmm...

This has been a design wall update.

Monday, Monday

Design wall  Monday -- I pulled this from my UFO archives -- it's left over from a meeting with The Very Friendly Ladies.  The pattern is adapted from "Marble Steps" by Klaudeen Hansen.

I forgot about this one (in my defense, it has been a couple of years).  I am trying to decide if I should just bind it in red and call it finished, or if it needs another border in red, then maybe something in a lighter print.  And then bind it in red.

Yes, those are blue green quilt bits up there -- I haven't worked on that since the last time I did Design Wall Monday.  To see what others are doing, click here to go to Judy's blog.