Thursday, March 31, 2011

Finally Finished the Frog Quilt!

And just in the nick of time!  I dropped it off this afternoon for the show.

"Frog Leg Pie"
58" x 58"
Adapted from "Blueberries and Key Lime Pie" by Klaudeen Hansen
Fudge Factor Patterns

For the binding I used a new (to me) technique.  "Faux Piped Binding" -- it was not difficult and it looks fabulous.  And I did the whole thing on the machine.  The tutorial is here and I think it's a really good one.
I used cotton flannel for the back so it would be warm and cuddly.  I think it's going to live in my spot on the couch.

I had a little trouble with the label.  I followed the directions (for the first time) and (for the first time) the ink bled.   I usually heat set it before I rinse it, but the instructions say to rinse after the ink dries.  I let it dry overnight, then I rinsed and hand-washed in a little Synthropol.  And the silly thing bled.  I used it anyway.

Next time I'll be sure to follow directions -- not.

Monday, March 28, 2011

WIP Monday

My design wall hasn't changed much since last week except for the addition of this tiger.  I was going to have a little stone cottage finished, but it didn't happen.  I was going to have a little fairie started, but it didn't happen.

I was going to have this finished also --
but it's not quite ready.  Maybe tomorrow.

For more Monday design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Parrotpalooza is Finished!

12½" X 14"
Acrylic inks on cotton with cotton threads, wool batt

This is my journal quilt for March.  I wanted the parrots to "spill over" the edge because the March Journal Quilt Challenge theme at the Art Quilt Blog for this month is "spilling over".  The trouble is I liked the background so much I couldn't bring myself to cut off much more than I did.
I faced the edge with some really fine black Egyptian cotton because I knew that this fabric would make it easy to get a clean edge.  I did trim a little too close to one edge and had to add some fray stop liquid and then wait for it to dry so I could restitch it.

I did a little quilting around the eyes and on the beaks, but I left the parrots mostly unquilted so they would remain puffy. I'm considering doing just a little more quilting to provide a bit more depth -- especially under the parrots' heads.   

This was primarily an experiment with the acrylic inks.  I wanted to see if I could paint fine detail and not have it bleed all over.  The only part that bled was the background -- and that was because I mixed a lot of water with just a few drops of ink.  So it was more of a wash.  I'm really pleased about how dark the color is with the tiny amount of ink I used.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finished Top for Handmade Meaning Project

I stopped into Stitcher's Crossing last weekend and took a photo of the finished top.  Sorry about cutting off the bottom in my pic.

For more information on this project click here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Boooring Monday

My design wall hasn't changed a whole lot since last Monday.  I folded the two snow-dye background pieces into the size I need -- still haven't make up my mind which I'm using.  The stuff on the right is experimental.  I'll post more about that when I have something to say about it.

I did get the frog quilt mostly done this weekend.  I'll be posting a picture of that later this week.

For more design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Playing With Inks (Part Deux)

I am starting to quilt this parrot piece.  It was painted on cotton fabric with acrylic inks.  For the whole enchilada on the latest great ink experiment, click here to go to "...And Then We Set It On Fire" where I am the guest blogger today.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rice, Rice, Baby

I wasn't going to post about this.  It's more a failure than a win, but I am using the fabric that resulted from it.  So I guess I should 'splain it.

I took minute rice and cooked it according to the package directions, cooled it, and spread it on the fabric.  I let it dry, then painted on the thickened dye.  This is a half yard of fabric.

The reason it's a failure is that I couldn't get the rice/thickened dye mixture out of the fabric.  So this piece is rather stiff.  Not like cardboard, but not like a piece of good hand-dye should be.  I soaked it, washed it, then repeated the whole process.  Finally I gave up and threw it on the "hmmm..." pile.  Then I needed some bark-like fabric and I got the bright idea of using up some Setacolor paint I had stashed in a plastic container.  I diluted it, then painted it on the back of the fabric.  Then dry-brushed on some acrylic ink on the front in a darker brown.  That's the brown mess on the top edge of the fabric.

This piece is better.  I added some water to the cooled rice mixture before I spread it on the fabric.  This is not as supple as a normal hand-dye, but it isn't stiff.  I got most of the rice goo rinsed out.  This one and the next one are fat quarters.

This is the best piece.  I didn't have enough of the rice/water mixture left to do the whole piece.  So I added some rice flour that had been dissolved in an equal amount of water to the rice mixture (I think I had a half cup each of water and flour).  The goo rinsed out and this one is pretty good.  I don't think I would use this in a traditional quilt, but it will be fine for almost anything else.  And I think it has the best patterning.  It has that nice crackle from the flour in some places with the bolder look of the whole rice bits.  The background looks a bit blue on my monitor, but it's really white in real life.

Click on the pictures to examine them more closely.

It seems to me that things that are cooked stick to the fabric more than things that are not cooked.  I had trouble getting the potato stuff out of my fabric also, but no trouble at all with the rice and AP flours.  I have a package of glutinous rice flour to try next.  I'm curious to see if it will be different from the regular rice flour.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Pat's Day

I took some pictures last Sunday during the St.Patrick's Day parade around the square in Madison, Wisconsin.When my teenaged son saw this -- he immediately wanted one for himself.

 Of course -- I had to take a picture of this pug.
 The kids really liked this guy.

This little boy was standing in front of us for most of the parade and I loved his hat.
 This is "Sadie" -- she is an Irish water spaniel.  

These little girls are part of one of the local Irish dancing groups.

Then today I saw this in my backyard.   Look in the lower right corner of the photo.
And then it flew over to the fake fruit tree.

And best of all was the reading on the thermometer.  Whoo hoo!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Handmade Meaning in Wisconsin

Last week I was delighted to assist in the Community Embroidery Project.  This was an opportunity for people to put their own contemporary spin on traditional redwork.  I didn't make a square, but I helped with the assembly.

Packets were distributed to the community and the resulting embroidered squares were gathered together last week at Stitcher's Crossing for assembly into a quilt which will then be bound and tied.
Under the able direction of Susan Young, we spent the day squaring up the squares and sewing them together with red sashing.  I had to leave before it was finished, but I will post a picture of the completed project when it is available.
We chose this red fabric for sashing because it really made each individual embroidered square sing.

Here are the rows with their sashing.  For more information on this project -- check the blog here.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

For Monday - More Clues!

I know I haven't posted anything in a week, but I have been very busy.  First, here is my design wall for today.  To see more design walls, click here for Judy's blog.

Yes, those are snow dyes done specifically for this project.  And the blocks on the left are the ones I have done so far for my 2011 BOM club. And under the blocks are some scraps from my Palette Challenge -- those bits might have something to do with the snow-dyes.
And a little more of something from last week.  I will say now (clue, clue, clue!) that this is a separate project -- I'll be talking about this some more later this week (I hope).
And something new that might be a clue for the stuff from last week.  This needs its own post -- it's another from the robbing the kitchen/stealing from the pantry series.

This is one of the reasons I have been too busy to post.  I want this to be in a show that is coming up fast.
And another of the reasons I haven't posted.  This is a whole project I got to help with.  I'll post more on this later this week (again -- I hope).

And I should apologize to all of the people to whom I owe emails -- I'll catch up.  I promise.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh No! It's Monday!

And my design wall includes this:

and this:

which may or may not be related to this:

or this:
I just love a good mystery.  Stay tuned...

To see more conventional and less cryptic design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Journal Palette Quilt and a Postcard

"Columbine" 10" by 5½"

This is my finished Color Palette Challenge.
 And a detail shot.  I used hand-dyed fabrics and some hand-dyed threads.   The picture is from my garden last summer.  I played around with it in PhotoShop until it had the right colors for the challenge.

My personal challenge was to use some rayon threads I bought a while ago at an estate sale.  They're a little tricky to work with.  They tend to tangle and knot; so I found it best to wet them to make them behave as I stitched with them (please don't ask what I used -- but it wouldn't have worked if I had been eating chocolate while I stitched).
"True Blue"
And I made this little bit into a postcard for my cousin who is a dachshund aficionado.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lemoyne Stars!

These are the results of the LeMoyne star class I hosted last month.  These are all twelve inch LeMoyne stars except for the one on the upper right -- it's nine inches.

And these are the blazing stars.  They're all twelve inches.  Aren't they great!