Friday, September 30, 2011

Watercolor Workshop

 A woman with whom I am friendly from my BOM club really liked the watercolor crayon stuff I was doing and asked me to do a workshop with her.

 So I packed up my brushes, textile mediums, and texture plates and went over to her house for a fun morning.

She had a couple of embroidery machines and uses them a lot for quilting.  She made up a bunch of samples with neutral threads on neutral backgrounds and we got out the crayons and played.

The texture plates were the most fun.  We put the fabric over the plates and rubbed the crayons on the fabric.

Then we brushed on the the textile medium -- we used my GAC 900 by Golden.

She made up a bunch of embroideries and her 13-year-old granddaughter had fun coloring.

I really like the colors she chose.

 I think my favorite is this sailboat.

But the butterfly is pretty neat too.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Appliqué Update Thursday

All that football last weekend enabled me to finish the first block of my Civil War Bride Quilt. (Go Pack!)

A couple of the leaves on the edges aren't stitched down because they will overlap the next block after I get them all sewn together (grin).

Although, I might not be finished with this because I'm thinking that the flowers really need some embroidered stamens....
And I made some pretty good progress on the ostriches -- one is finished and the other is almost finished.  This block is going a lot quicker than the first one did.

To check out other appliquérs, click here for Angie's blog.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finished Thousand Words Piece(s)!

"Belle Grove I"
17" by 20 ½"

"Belle Grove II"
17" by 20 ½"

Detail from "Belle Grove I"

Detail from "Belle Grove II"

Both of these were inspired by the photography of Walker Evans.  Members of Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists were invited to create art to hang in the venue where the play, "A Thousand Words" by Gwendolyn Rice (more about it is here) will be produced.  It will run January 19 through February 5, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin at the Overture Center (here), and at the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (here) from February 16 through March 11, 2012.  The artwork is for Madison only, I believe.

Both are made from my hand-dyed cottons.  After I made "Belle Grove I" from a lightly dyed piece of cotton sateen,  I was hungry for color.  So I drew up a pattern and did "Belle Grove II" in colorful hand-dyes -- it is all pieced, where "Belle Grove I" is wholecloth with thread and ink.  I used wool batting so that it would poof where it was lightly quilted.

I may have more information about where and when the artwork will be displayed -- I will post that info as it becomes available.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just Can't Decide...

 My design wall has a project I can't show right now, so I'm soliciting assistance on this project.  I've been working on it for weeks and I just can't decide.

It's not that important, but I love the Tula Pink Prince Charming fabric so much and I want to use this bag for my very own.

Toward the left of the photo are the outside pieces of the bag and on the right are two possibilities for the front pocket.  That's the strap lying across the bottom of the photo.
 This is choice number 1 for the front pocket.  This is from the same line of fabric as the outside of the bag.  But I think it's maybe too bold for the front pocket.
 Choice number two -- it's from a different line of fabric.   I like the buggy look to this.  And frogs and bugs go together so well.
 Choice number three -- this is more of the Prince Charming line.  I'm not crazy about this fabric by itself, but it's a nice backgroundy kind of print.
 And choice number four.  This is from the same line, but a different colorway.  I love the raindrops, but I think the scale is all wrong for a small pocket on the front of the bag.  And the colors are too soft -- I would like to bind it with some dark teal.

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

Monday, September 19, 2011

Half Square Triangles in Progress

I started some half square triangles for the next block in my 2011 BOM.  I've placed them on the wall at the approximate spots where they'll need to be.

They're two inches each -- they'll finish at one and a half.

 I counted wrong and made eight of each color, but I need 12 of each. So I'll have to make a few more.

 Then I have to figure out where I can cut the large half square triangles for the larger part of the block.  It's looking a little "holey" I know, but it hasn't yet achieved the state of highest "holeyness."
I think I can get four identical pieces featuring the flower on the edge of the (missing) sun.

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A New Journal Quilt, a New Toy, and Some News

"Morning Sentry"
9" by 12"

I haven't done a journal quilt in a while -- I've been too busy doing real quilts (and a whole lot of other stuff). I used the color palette (here) from Three Creative Studios for last month.  The stars are cute little three (3!) inchers that I made with my new toy.

I don't buy a lot of gadgets.  Not that I don't want to be a gadget girl, but I am not rich and famous (it's hard to believe, I know), and therefore have a limited budget for fun things.  Which makes it easy to talk myself out of rulers and things that aren't fabric.   I tend to think of costs in terms of fabric and thread; as in: hmmm.... that's equal to how many spools of thread (or yards of fabric).  And then I decide that I don't really need said gadget.  

But this one was different.  It makes Lemoyne stars and the stars are still diamonds!  And the edges are all on the straight grain!  And because I'm a smarty pants, I had to test it out with wee little stars!  And it works!  I'll have more on this in the next few months, I'm sure.  Here is a link to the company:

The news is  that I have been invited to join the creative minds at the technique blog "...And Then We Set it on Fire."  Also, there is a link on the right side of this blog.  I did some guest blogging there a while back -- I put up my first post over there as a member today.  I'm "up" next month and I'm still mulling over my technique....

The technique for the bird is here.  I ironed fusible to the back, ironed it on the pieced stars, then covered it with thread.  To check out some more appliqué, go to Angie's blog here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tiny Lemoyne Stars

Today my design wall sports the blocks for my 2011 BOM group around the edges and two new tiny Lemoyne stars.

I have a lot of news, but I'm frantically busy right now.  I'll have a post 'splainin' it all in the next day or two.

To see some other design walls, click here for Judy's blog.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Bag for my LQS

I finished this Margo bag by Lazy Girl Designs for Stitcher's Crossing.

This bag will be on display in the Stitcher's Crossing booth at Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, September 8 - 10.  They will have the pattern available for purchase.

 I used some ribbon from my stash to make the zipper pull.
 I think the rust-colored zipper looks great with these fabrics.

Here is a closeup of the inside -- I used the stripe fabric with the stripes going up and down for the front of the bag -- where it's visible behind the leaf print -- and going across for the front inside lining.

The green with the purple and orange plaid is a nice surprise for the inside pockets.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Curses! Foiled Again!

 Last week on my design wall, there was this piece of fabric that I had to do something to.  But I wasn't sure exactly what to do to it.

I finally decided to do some more foiling.  Yep -- foiled again!  But no cursing.
 Because it had already been foiled with glue, I used black Mistyfuse shapes and scattered them around the piece.  I really like the black Mistyfuse on the black background.  I had to be careful not to hit the previous foiling with my iron and I also made sure I worked around it with the fusible web.

I pressed the pieces of Mistyfuse, then added the foil on top.  I really like the way the foil isn't a solid blob -- it has the pattern from the fusible because the foil sticks only to the glue in the fusible web.

This is the final finished piece.  It was dyed, then waxed and over-dyed, then foiled twice.
 This is my final art cloth.  It started out as a snow-dyed madala, looking something like the piece on the left.  I know I took a photo of it before I sent it on its journey, but I can't find it.  Fortunately, I had two that were almost alike.

Beth from Maine was the first to get it.  She used something called "fugitive media."   Basically, it means that she used things that normally aren't permanent on fabric -- chalk pastels and water soluble oil pastels in this case -- then she painted them with base extender and heat set.  There is a much more eloquent explanation of fugitive media here at "...And Then We Set it on Fire."

Then Laura painted it with red Setacolor paint and sun-printed it using round shapes, foam cut outs and gravel from her driveway as resists.

Here is a detail showing the paint and the final foiling that Jenny did.  She followed the starburst design that happened during the original dyeing.  It's a pretty amazing piece.  I'm enjoying having it up on my design wall.

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

Friday, September 2, 2011

BOM Stars for September

Yesterday was the meeting for my 2011 BOM group.  This month we did the Lucky Star -- which I didn't do.

And the Morning Star.  Which I did do.  That's mine at the lower right.  This was a paper pieced block.  I fussy cut the center pieces with templates.  

The trouble is, I didn't allow for the fact that paper piecing is done backwards.  So when I cut out my little pieces, they were going the wrong way.  And then I had to paper piece it from the wrong side.  Sheesh!

So my star spins in a different direction than the others  (It's a lot like me, I suppose).

The little one in the group picture also spins backward, but I think that's because she did hers in EQ7 so that she could print it out in the smaller size.  I don't know how she got it reversed though.  Maybe she just liked it better that way.

Also yesterday, I packed up my "Pieceful Tigers" and the pelican quilt and shipped them off for the AQS show in Des Moines.  The tiger quilt is here and the pelican quilt is here.

Oh -- and it wasn't the Saints playing the Packers last night -- that's the season opener next week.  Last night, they beat played the Chiefs.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Appliqué Update for Sept.1

 I've mostly finished my first block of the Civil War Bride Quilt.  I have finished all those (darned) leaves and all the flowers.  I have a couple of buds and the centers of the flowers to finish.

I used a washer and did a running stitch around the edge of the circle, drew it up, hit it with some sizing, then ironed to make the circles.  But they're not quite round.  And the little pleats are unsightly.  So I'm going to have to redo them.  Any suggestions are certainly welcome...
And just in time for tonight's football extravaganza -- I got the pieces ready for the next block.  Those are ostriches!   This was my favorite block on the quilt that first made me fall in love with this pattern.  I waited to do it because I wanted to practice on those (darned) leaves before I attempted the complicated ostriches.

So tonight my two favorite football teams are both playing.  At the same time.  Oh woe is me -- which do I watch?  I think my TV has picture-in-picture, but that seems unnecessarily confusing.  So do I watch the Badgers in their season opener?  Or do I watch the Packers play the Saints in the final preseason game?   Or switch back and forth and miss all the best stuff?

For a look at some other appliqué, check out Angie's blog here.