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Monday, August 06, 2007

autumn fairy

The binding isn't done on this page yet, but it's so big that it will have to be photographed when it's completed anyway. This is all that fits on my scanner. This journal page is for Sherry's Autumn Splendor fabric book. I did some quilting in leaf shapes on the part that is hidden by the white square. It shows on the back where I also stitched in my name. The white square is a sample from a class I taught at the regional weavers' conference about ten years ago. Natural dyes painted onto real leaves from my back yard and then pressed onto an alum mordanted cotton cloth.

The fairy is cut from a printed fabric and her wings are the same ribbon as at the top and bottom of the frame. When I was fusing the body I realized that the iron was a little hot and her wings crinkled up - it's nylon ribbon - but that gave it a lot of dimensional quality. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. The squares in the corner are glass tiles with a coppery mirror finish. The printed fabric on each side of the white square is from one of my favorite dresses from the 70's. I still have lots more. I was going to make a cathedral window quilt out of it, but that was way too much handwork at the time. I still love the fabric and may eventually find the perfect use, the second time around.

Enjoyed doing the embroidery last night. So this just needs a little work tonight and then it's in the mail later in the week.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Been feeling a little overwhelmed lately looking at the to-do list. I have a lot of stuff started and am trying to work a little on everything at once. Lots of ideas crying to get out. It seems like inspiration comes on me just as I hit the on ramp on my commute to work. Occasionally the traffic is so bad that I am parked for just long enough to scribble something down so I don't lose an idea. The other day, it was a mess waiting for construction trucks to clear out of the way, that I had time for a full blown sketch and lots of notes about materials and processes. Now if only I could find time to get them actually made.

My daughter is in full production mode. Running through the handwovens I've given her like rain down my roof gutter spout. She needed some notions to finish more, so we went shopping, first in my closet for more handwovens and then to the store to get thread, interfacing and linings. We found a few wonderful things and lots of other things to try. A twin needle! Spent some time trying out all the stitches. Then after she went home, I couldn't get the dang thing to do the satin stitch for a while, it was changing stitches in the middle of sewing... I'm not sure how I did it, but after turning my own head counterclockwise three times and swearing profusely, it finally started to sew correctly again. I do not know how I "fixed" it. It has happened before and it just takes patience, I have to try every combination of needle up, turn this all the way left and that button all the right to the right or vice versa and voila, it is hunky-dory again.

I have a fabric page laid out for the round robin book. I'm the last one to work in it and it is really fun to see everyone's work altogether. Much better than looking at the posted photos. Mine will be home in a month or so. And that's a good thing, because I've joined up on a couple of other round robins and I really shouldn't have. I have art camp coming up and the weaver's sale and I just really need to think about doing a lot of other things, the usual cleaning, and did you realize that the holidays are almost here? Well, not really, but you know it won't be long till it's Halloween and then Thanksgiving and well, I just can't keep up in the fall.

Tons to do, gotta run. The granddaughter is here and we're busy looking at everything on my worktable.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

block for Joshua

Now this was fun and easy this morning! A call went out on the quilting groups for blocks to cheer up Joshua who was in a bicycle accident. His mom has to assemble and quilt them. Not sure how that works with her sitting bedside and driving back and forth to the hospital. But hopefully he'll be home soon. The description was to chose fabric a teen-aged boy would like. I don't know Joshua but I don't know any teen-aged boys who aren't hardwired for music.

This was kind of a kick for me because I had just picked up the music notation fabric in the remnants bin at my local Hobby Lobby - and it was just sitting on my machine table. I have been sorting and organizing my fabric into bins and boxes. So I was able to open a box and peruse the contents easily because they are stacked so I can see the edge of every neatly folded piece of fabric - not just the one on top! Whipped this block out in just a few minutes. Yay, it's already on its way to Maine.

08:10 Posted in sewing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

cat quilt

Last week my sister and my mom came for a visit to see the great grandkids. My sister pulled a quilt kit out of her suitcase saying she brought along a little mindless entertainment that she figured I would help her with and maybe doing this together we would rekindle my mom's interest in sewing. Mom is in her eighties and she used to sew all our clothes when we were kids. It made her nervous to sew really important things like graduation and prom dresses so in high school my sister and I took over the sewing chores at home.

I've only recently begun to do more interesting things besides sewing clothes and my sister is complimentary but seems confused a bit by some of my collage and journal quilting. I showed them a video "The Art of Quilting" that includes the Chicago School of Fusing skit and that was amazing to my sister. I'm sure she'd never seen quilts like that before. As we worked on the kit I tried to show her some the things I've learned recently. Of course the kit directions weren't really well written and we had to wing it at times. She said she never would have finished it without my help. We cut one assembled section wrong and had to sew it back together and recut it!

Anyway, I showed her how to free motion quilt and we did samples so she could choose which batting out of my stock she wanted. At first she said yes on the first one and then I did another sample and she realized that was more what she envisioned ... just a matter of no experience on her part and no expectation of there being real differences in something as simple as the batting.

At the end of the week, she had a nice wall hanging for Christmas and had actually done some FMQ around some of the printed illustrations in the blocks of the quilt - kitty cats - and had learned a lot about piecing and quilting. Not that she had a expert as a teacher, of course.

My mom on the other hand was not really interested in the sewing but she was our color designer! My sister cut the pieces and mom decided which one of the colors and prints went next and I sewed the pieced border panels. They were amazed at all the tools and professional (!) equipment I had including the spray baste - all things I have only learned about in the past year or so ....

In the end, the project that interested my mother the most (besides watching the grandkids play) was making paper beads! She wanted to make them real tiny and real tight. She rolled quite a few and I showed her how you can use any paper and some of ads in the magazines make the best beads! Anyway, they've gone home now, all the sewing stuff is back in my workroom upstairs (mom doesn't do stairs anymore) and I'm still rolling paper beads! I've put some copper embossing on some and that is looking dynamite! So maybe I won't get caught up on reading the messages on my forums after all.

I am very surprised at myself for not taking photos of my sister and my mom as we worked on the quilt. I was so involved in the process, I didn't think to document it. Fodder for the blog now lost forever.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

out of Africa

I put a few doodahs on this that seemed to fit the theme and so it's ready to continue on its journey. Only one more stop before it goes home to Donna.