November 16, 2009

At last...a finished piece

Hooray!  I am finally blogging again!  This is a landscape piece I started at QSDS but just couldn't seem to get anywhere with it.  I almost threw it away twice but grabbed it and tucked it inside a drawer.  Now I am really glad I saved it because I really like the end result.  Below is after quilting and before cropping.  After I cropped it, I realized that was what it needed all along.  It is made using my hand dyed fabrics. 

Before cropping and detail below

The hand dyed fabric reminded me of a stream running through a meadow, so I just went with it when I quilted it.  I had an old frame handy and decided I liked it framed.  It is 8"x10" inside an 11"x14" frame. 

September 23, 2009

New Work Revisited

This is a work-in-progress of the start of my buildings and ladder series.  I had started it before I left in June for QSDS and now that I re-visit it, I want to finish it!  It is an abstract of a ladder against a building.  I have done tons of sketches in my sketchbook recently of buildings and ladders.  So, hopefully, I can get this one done soon.  All the fabric is my hand dyed and then screen printed pieces.   

September 22, 2009

Knitting Insanity

I have been knitting a lot lately.  Maybe because I traveled a lot this summer and I like to take a small knitting project along with me.  Or maybe it all started when we suspected our cat had used the internet to order cat food.  (We had cat food waiting in our mailbox when we returned from our trip to OH)  You have to do something to maintain your insanity.  Just like quilting, I can't settle on one thing to make and always have several projects brewing.  The one above is going to be a throw using my yarn stash and sock yarn.  One strand of any kind of solid color held together with one strand of sock yarn using size 13 circular needles. (29").  I love how the sock yarn adds surprises of color.  It's a "scrap quilt" type of throw.  I will just keep adding colors and yarn until I like the size.  After it is done, I will crochet an edging to keep it from curling (it's done in stockinette).  I like these kind of projects when I am watching TV.  Funny thing is, I can knit in my sleep.  I wake up and see some good stitches and a few bad ones that I have to redo. 

This one is a scarf I started in a rib stitch using size 10 1/2 needles and chunky wool yarn.  I must be expecting a blizzard this winter because look at the hats I knit below!  I made two hats in two days.  I love to knit hats and find them easy peasy. 

This is my new tote bag to be knit from Noro Kuryeon yarn.  It is wool, so the above picture is after I felted it.  As you can see, I am using wool to knit I-cord for the handles.  I hope to line it and use it for toting my knitting when I travel.  (Or it will make a really warm hand warmer for winter on the metro).    The picture below is before it was felted and shrunk so much.

Here it is knit before felting in stockinette using circular needle.  It is called The Boogie Bag and the pattern is free on Ravelry.  Time for me to end this post, the cat is eyeing me...I think I see a tiny credit card in her paw. 

September 15, 2009

Machine Quilting designs and Other Important Stuff

I have been thinking of making a whole cloth quilt using some of my machine quilting motifs. I keep samples of machine quilting designs and stitches (each about 12" sq. or so) pinned together. When I can't decide what stitch to use, I quickly flip through them to find something I want to use on a particular quilt. Lots of times, I start to quilt and end up with a totally different design. The design above is done on muslin using yellow thread. My inspiration for designs usually come from nature. There are so many intricate lines and curves and swirls in leaves and flowers or even the bark on a tree. I must get back to work on my art this week.
When I was in California, I bought Emma a yellow rain slicker at an Old Navy store. She looks so cute in it and even got to wear it once. This is a picture of her dad taking her out in the rain. (He reluctantly did so because any dog dressed in clothes is embarrassing to him). LOL! But she wore it and never tried to pull it off. She loves to wear her sweaters in the winter, too.

And if you can't get enough Emma pics, here she is in our back yard at our other house in Columbus, OH. It's a huge back yard and has a fence. She loves to run and chase her ball. I do miss having a back yard this house, there is no fence and it's very small. So, we call the house in Columbus our country house.

September 10, 2009

This Quilt's For Me!

My New Quilt

Quilted details

Quilted Details
Back of quilt

This is a lap size quilt that I made using Fresh Air by Chez Moi for Moda. I had bought a few packets of the 5" squares several years ago while visiting the Bernina shop across the way from Mary Jo's in North Carolina. I decided it would be my vegging out quilt...nothing but squares sewn together. I managed to piece it between art quilts and finally machine quilted it last month. The thread is variegated Star thread by Coats and Clark. I quilted it on my Bernina and loved the way the thread blended with the colors. The fabric design reminds me of the crazy 70's. I swear I had dresses that looked like this quilt. Of course those dresses were double knit or polyester. Maybe that's why I made it my own. It will be nice to snuggle in while watching TV and knitting. if I could just find my pep squad pom poms...

September 9, 2009

What I did This Summer...

Traci & me (in California) 3 Leaves (quilted)

3 Leaves (detail)

I did have a very busy summer! In fact, it was a very productive summer with lots of new work. I am now back from my whirlwind trips with a new mindset to keep my blog updated. I have way too many new things to put in one post, but I will start with the finished "3 Leaves". (I see I have to yet again update my photo lighting. The overall pic seems a bit off in color. )

In August, I gave a lecture/trunk show at The Tavern Quilt Guild in Heathsville, VA. What a nice group of quilters! It's too bad they are so far away...they do so many fun things! I gave them my "Top Ten Machine Quilting Tips" and showed them some of my quilts.

I visited my daughter in California and had a wonderful time! We did so many things! We took an open air jeep tour of wineries in Santa Barbara. We stayed at the luxurious Canary Hotel and the jeep tour guide picked us up. We took an old stagecoach road through the mountains to 4 different wineries. Fun!! I will have to post pics on my flickr site because there are way too many to show here. Paradise Cove was fun, too! It's where the movie "Gidget" was filmed. We even encountered rattlesnakes on a hike in the Santa Monica mountains!!

We also too several trips to Ohio to work on our house there and visit our son. I feel like I've been gone all summer!

OK, I'm off to take more pics of the new work. I will post again tomorrow!

July 20, 2009

New Quilt and What I have been doing

New quilt in progress

Layout on my design wall, WIP

We are just a metro ride to the Capitol

Begonia at Botanical Gardens in DC (love the Polka dots)

Me at Botanical Gardens in DC

Vern at Botanical Gardens in DC

Westmoreland State park in VA where we went hiking

George Washington's birthplace (1732) formerly known as Pope's Creek Plantation

Birthplace of George Washington right on the Potomac river

Squirrel at GW birthplace (compare this skinny little squirrel to the one below)

Squirrel on the National Mall (who stopped to pose for me as squirrels always do that)

Emma, having fun

July 3, 2009


detail above of a purple/yellow piece
Here are a few of the paintings I did at QSDS...I made painted fabric, not pictures. I really like the effect of layering paint. It is all done on 7 oz. canvas using fabric paint and thus is easy to sew to other fabrics. The top piece has many layers and was an experiment. It might be hard to cut these up and use them in quilts.

July 2, 2009

QSDS (Quilt Surface Design Symposium)

my board (above) with photos of my previous work and some new paintings
on day two (yes, the boards are bowed)

my board in the class on day seven

here I am getting ready for a presentation to the class
(I look so serious)

my friend, Susan Nash, and her board

QSDS was 7 wonderful and intense days of art composition, painting and fun! I took a master class with Elizabeth Busch. I highly recommend her as an instructor if you ever get to take a class with her. I came away feeling refreshed about my art work. I can see me going in an almost different but better direction with my art. This class really made me think about composition, color and how to better interpret my designs in fabric. I ended up putting away the two pieces I had planned to work on and started a new design. The board shows my paintings and some pieces of the new work. I got to room with my good buddy, Susan Nash, who is a very talented art quilter and always inspires me. Each day, we did little 4" x 6" studies on index cards...the designs aren't in these photos. I will save those for a later time when they are made into quilts.

It's good to be back home, but it was nice to be in an artist environment for a while. (no cleaning, no cooking and big, fat chocolate chip cookies or cheesecake at each meal).

Check back tomorrow...I will have some details of the paintings.

July 1, 2009

Sacred Threads

me & my quilt at the opening reception
my friend, Susan Nash and her quilt, at the opening reception

The Sacred Threads exhibit was wonderful once again! I was so honored to have my quilt juried into the show. I can't describe how great it is to see the quilts and read the artists statements in person. It was so nice to meet fellow artists who also have a piece in the show. I also got to see friends who I haven't seen in a while. It does a heart good!

June 18, 2009

New Quilts

Beach Landscape #1

Beach Landscape #2

I just had to use the rusty color hand dyed fabric, so of course I had to use it for a beach scene! The multi-colored fabric was just the right color for a sky with sun rays quilted in. Beach Landscape #1 was quilted with feed dogs up and using my 1/4" foot on my Bernina. I really like quilting narrow lines, but it is time consuming! The next one has a bit of free motion quilting added.
I thought I better post since it's been so long since my last post. I have been crazy busy in my studio getting ready for QSDS! I leave tomorrow! Yippee! Saturday, I have the Sacred Threads Artists Reception to attend. I hope my quilt made it there without too many wrinkles.
I must finish packing my projects tonight and it's late already! I have some cool new pieces I am excited about. QSDS will be so much fun but really hard work, too. I will try to write a blog post while I'm there.

May 30, 2009

Fabric Dyeing

I dyed a little over 18 yards of fabric this week. (Doesn't look like 18 yds when folded, does it? Well, when you iron it, it sure does!) I think gathering my supplies, bringing them to the kitchen and doing the prep work of protecting my counter tops, etc takes more time than the actual dyeing process. But I love the results. I used three different types of fabric. One is Kona Cotton PFD which I really like and another is Kauffman Pimatex PFD which has a tighter weave and the feel of batik fabric. The other is one I don't like but had a lot of after taking a dyeing class. It is a coarser type muslin that wrinkles like crazy, so not my favorite.
This is another shot of the folded fabric...mostly 1/2 yard pieces. Below are my's always hard to cut into your favorites. I used Procion MX dyes. I did get better color by first soaking my fabric in the soda ash solution, premixing the dyes and adding the fabric to the dye vats (rubbermaid and various plastic containers with lids). No salt added this time and I let them sit overnight before the rinse out.

I pour teal over antique gold to get this effect.

May 29, 2009

Screen Printing

Screen Print with Mono Print

Screen Printing is fun! The fabrics above are printed using Jacquard Fabric paint and a produce bag. There was enough paint left on the produce bag to do a mono print, too. The fabric is some of the fat quarters I hand dyed last year. I sort of ripped and stretched the vinyl bag so I could get better texture and design when I printed.

This piece is the first print using the produce bag. It does use a lot of paint, but I love the results.

This is a screen print done on a commercial fabric using a freezer paper stencil I cut. The red print below is an abstract leaf that I cut from newspaper. It was my first print. Sorry about the photo quality, I just snapped a picture while it was drying on my design wall. I love the crisp quality of screen printing...maybe I should do it on a T-shirt??? Nahh, got to save the fabric paint for quilts!

Yesterday, I dyed some more fabric using three types of fabric. I am ironing it this morning and will take some photos to post tomorrow. I'm getting ready for my master class with Elizabeth Busch at QSDS, so for the next three weeks I will be working on some new pieces and some old ones in my studio. I was bogged down for a while and realized it was fabric colors I needed to inspire the muse, so hopefully the dyeing session will help in that area.