March 31, 2009

Canvas & Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms in DC

I finished quilting my Ladder pieces and mounted them to painted stretched canvas. Above is one of the first pieces I mounted to canvas. It is always hard to see the canvas with a front shot, so I shot this one a bit skewed so you can see the side. This is such a small piece, that I think it looks better on the canvas...I always worry that what if in the future someone thinks it is a "pretty potholder"?! So, canvas it is...but I still haven't named it.

This is what I used for the canvas...readily available in art supply stores everywhere. First, I brushed on a coat of gesso and let it dry. Then, I used Golden and inexpensive acrylics mixed to achieve one of the colors (or close to it) in the little quilts. Below, I painted it on the canvas. I realized I didn't have to cover all of it...just the edges and part of the front. I used my heat gun ( can burn) to hasten the drying process. I think it took several coats of the acrylic to cover well.

Painted canvas, drying.

After the canvas dried, I used invisible thread to stitch in various places through the canvas and the the little quilts. This is the hardest part...I really hate to use glue on them, but if I can't find a better way...anyone know a better way?

Here they are finished...The Ladders...hanging on my design wall

Cherry Blossoms 2009

On Saturday, we hopped on the metro and spent the day in downtown DC. We first went to the National Archives where we saw The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence and various other historical documents and exhibits. Then, we went to the National Gallery of Art for lunch. There we saw the Small French Paintings exhibit and a magnificent special exhibit called Heaven on Earth which is all Illuminations. Very cool to see! We decided to walk over to the river basin to see the Cherry Blossom festival since it started that day. Did I fail to mention that the day was dreary, rainy and overcast most of the day?

The Washington Monument with cherry trees in the foreground

The blossoms were not as magnificent as last year. But nice to not have the large crowd, too.

The Jefferson Memorial

Love was in the Air

Can you see the female duck? She almost blends in with the ground. Her hubby was waiting patiently while she chose the best worms and played in the water. (Kind of like my hubby waiting for me while I'm in the fabric store or yarn shop.)

March 25, 2009

It's All About Aqua...

Detail of Ladder( I started the quilting)

As you can see below, I have been rather busy. I moved my studio to the third floor! I really love it there...yes, it's a bit smaller, but it actually feels roomier because I'm not sharing the room with my computer desk or HQ16 table. And, the best part...I painted it a color I love...a lovely aqua color. It's bright, cheery and makes me want to create. I also have my machine in front of the window so the light is terrific! One of the nice things about moving an entire room is that I can organize it. I know what I will use for my art quilts and only those things went in there.

New Studio with Emma

My sewing machine in front of the windows
I will have to include a picture of the other side with the closets...seems I missed taking that one. Below are pictures of the before dark color when it was a guest room. (We moved the guest room to my old studio). I probably failed to mention that the move to the third floor was my birthday gift from my hubby. : ) That's all I wanted and wow, was it hard work! Carrying all that stuff up the flights of stairs was tricky and gave us a workout! We did it all in a weekend, including the painting. I still have a bit of tweaks such as painting over spackling where I filled nail holes, but it's ready enough for quilting.

Vern & Emma prepping the walls for new paint

Hmmm....what is that thing?
And finally, a picture of the Incredible Edible basket of fruit my daughter sent me for my birthday. My birthday was St. Patrick's Day and I received wonderful cards and gifts from friends and family. Thanks! : )

March 10, 2009

Happy Dance...Sacred Threads

Moonlight On the Water (detail)

Yippee! I am very honored to post that my quilt, "Moonlight On The Water" was selected for the 2009 Sacred Threads exhibition! Above is a sneak pre-view of the quilt. I will post the entire quilt later. I hope to attend the opening by extending my stay in Ohio when I go to QSDS. June will be a busy month for me!

March 6, 2009

More Ladders...

WIPs...More Ladders to be

I have delayed, procrastinated, pondered and finally did it! I didn't know if I should continue my "Ladder Series" I started last year because I found out after I started the series( more here) that other people were doing the same series. I suddenly stopped because I didn't want anyone to think I copied the idea. But no, my Ladders came from my own creative muse. I was really amazed and a bit shocked when I first saw that others were doing the same thing. I think this may happen to lots of artists...they find that their idea is not unique. I think it sometimes discourages artists to continue with certain ideas but I had so many drawings already done and I felt I just had to get them into fabric. I wonder if the Creative Muse sometimes flutters by more than one artist giving them the same idea. I took the smart advice of a brilliant artist friend of mine who assured me it is OK to continue on these because it happens all the time in the art world...artists get the same ideas without even knowing or seeing what others are doing. So, I will get these done. This set of three (I seem to be stuck on sets of three lately...hmmm) will be mounted on stretched 4" x 12" canvas. As you see them now, they are not trimmed and I have just started the quilting. One of my first ladders (the black/white one below) had "paint chips" added as a color feature. I may leave these plain except for the quilting. I think it is the quilting that I love on these little pieces. The background is my hand dyed fabric. I also spent a day trying to get the correct colors I wanted to use. I finally threw out the color wheel chart and decided to go with my heart on this one. I love this color combination...sort of beachy. Who knows...I may embellish these with more "paint chips" of fabric or...oh, an idea just hit me in the head...more later.

I started the fun part...machine quilting

Ladder #1

March 3, 2009

Machine Quilting...The Thread I Love

As many of you know, I love to machine quilt! Here is one of my favorite threads to use. It's Mettler Fine Embroidery No. 60 wt. It is strong enough to do the job and thin enough to sort of melt into the fabric. It is cotton and comes in yummy colors. My Bernina loves it and she is very finicky with most threads. I use it in the bobbin if I have enough of one color, or I use size 50 cotton in the bobbin. If I don't have enough size 60 in a certain color I need, then I will use the Mettler no. 50 on the top which also comes in even more colors.

I have been working like crazy on some new designs that I can't post, yet. I'm also looking forward to QSDS in June. I am taking a 7 day Master class from Elizabeth Busch. Any one else going to QSDS? One of the nice bonuses is that it is in Columbus, Ohio where I use to live. I get to visit with my friends and our son who lives there.

I guess you saw on the news where we had snow here in the DC area. Funny how 8 inches or so can shut down the city. I didn't even bother to shovel it this time. The sun is out, but's still cold. I remember in Ohio when we didn't see the pavement for over 30 days at a time.

I am working on some more of my ladder series today. In my spare time or down time while watching TV, I am knitting. I just finished a bag to felt and am starting a cropped short-sleeve cardigan. Anyone else on As I said before, great inspiration and wonderful free patterns.

Emma is asleep dreaming sweet puppy dreams after a fun playtime of playing fetch with her toy. Taylor is sleeping in her basket dreaming of mice.

Please leave comments...I love to hear from you! : )