Thursday, April 13, 2017

Retreat - Pt. 2

Day 2 of our retreat.... Back at the community room,  lots going on. Marene, our newest PTA - er fits our group like a glove. She brought several projects to work on including a community quilt which is an ongoing thing in our guild. I think most guilds have philanthropy type projects where kits are available for anyone to make and donate. She finished this top - lickety split...and so onto the next project.....
 a gift for a friend she recently stayed with while in Florida...
 This will be a beautiful bargello piece when done.
 Linda has become an avid knitter; these are socks for Kate...I'm in line to get a pair but don't know if I can bring myself to wear them...too beautiful.
 Barbara was working on blocks and at this point up to 3 large pieces...a very interesting piece and I look forward to seeing it completed.
 Mary was working on a quilt for her grandson using plaids and checks....
 With leftover fabric from Mary's quilt, Kate made this piece. It's fun to see the very different looks from the same fabrics.
 Leigh Ann was working on the same quilt as Janice using the Maple Islands quilt pattern -
 Kate was also working on a community quilt, ran out of squares to make a 5th row and decided to make 2 blocks using scraps to make a 9 patch (opposite corners). Kate literally had a few threads leftover and we all thought the newest blocks really added an element of surprise.
 Kate is a fast and very good piecer...but when having so much fun with many distractions...seams do get sewn on the wrong side...what to do...

 take a break and do aerobics with our fearless leader - Georgia!

Well, 5:00 and it's Happy Hour time and back to the house.. ... lots of nibbles and bubbly and laughing!
 with good friends....
And as the saying goes....what happens in Lake Logan, stays in Lake Logan...For that we are all grateful.
 and into our jammies early on
and the socks that say it all ..."If you can read this...Bring me some wine"....Girlfriends are the best! I am linked to Off the Wall Fridays and Whoop Whoop Fridays.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Retreat Time!!

Last week was our annual retreat - 3 days of crazy fun!....10 of us gals from PTA - (Professional Textile Artists, AKA - Piecers, Talkers, Appliquers) gathered together to sew, laugh, eat, drink champagne, laugh, tell stories, laugh and drink more champagne. Each year gets better and better.... We arrived around 9:30 - ish on tuesday...Mary had yummy donuts waiting for us as we set up our stations and being creatures of habit, scooped up the same tables as the year before.
 We all bring tons of stuff to work on thinking we may actually run out of projects. The room is very large and perfect to accomodate all of us, our machines etc.
 We hang up our design walls and are off and running.
Some of our members like to come for just a day to hang out in the community room. Dort was here on tuesday and working diligently on some smaller pieces.
 First things first, we had a quick show and tell...Mary brought a piece she made utilizing fabric she created herself using ice dyeing and deconstructive screen printing techniques...Love it! Love it!
 Georgia brought some fabric she purchased featuring New York City...I've got to have some of this....
 Kate was working on a piece using half hexagons but put it aside as she wanted more fabric choices....As much fabric as we bring...sometimes it's hard to know exactly what we'll need.
 Barbara was working on some interesting blocks - slicing and adding strips, all very spontaneous.
 Janice and Leigh Anne were working on the same quilt - different fabrics...
using a pattern from Maple Island Quilts.
 Georgia also found this wonderful "tree" fabric from Northcutt, which will feature an pieced owl..... still in the designing stage.
 I was also working on a piece using half hexagons. I had them arranged on a flannel "board" and glad I did. I brought extra fabrics along in case I wanted to do some swapping out. My hexagon template was not very good and Kate came up with this idea.
 First off, you must know that Kate is the Queen of Recycling...These were flip flops used in pedicures...Kate saved them knowing they would serve a future purpose. Our good pal Denny lent us her Accu Cut machine to bring along..
 and running this through with the hexagon die...
gave me this....a perfect and very sturdy template - It will be put to good use when I no longer have access to the Accu Cut - thanks Kate!
It was Mary's birthday and what better way to celebrate than with cake, bubbly and a crown...
and lots of funny cards...Well that was just day 1......Please stay tuned for more fun and beautiful quilts.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Retreat Project

Our annual PTA retreat is coming up next week and I have started my pile of stuff..There it sits on the dining room table ready to be packed. This annual event which our good pal and PTA member - Mary  S organized years ago has turned into one of the most fun things we do every year. 
 We have 3 wonderful and exhausting days of sewing, laughing, playing games, drinking champagne, eating...etc....For retreat I try and pick an easy project so I'm being productive but not so intense that I miss all the funny goings on during the day. This year our FJ group used Denny's Accu Cut machine to cut pieces in various shapes...all the exact same size making for good piecing. Kate and I chose a half hexagon as we saw a quilt we liked made with them, and thought it would work for retreat.
 I wasn't sure how my fabrics would work, so I started pinning them up on flannel before retreat.
 I'm so glad I did as I had many areas I wasn't happy with and felt it needed different fabrics.
 I also found the best way to see the quilt was through my camera...gave me a better feel.
 I needed some more interesting light pieces;  with this color way, it was hard to find fabrics in values... I found this paint (almost threw it out years ago) I bought for making patina green on copper. The green was perfect.


 I used it along with Lumiere gold and a sponge to add some visual texture to light colored fabrics.
A nice effect and I'll see how they work in the scheme of things.
  I also found some nubby light green silk noil which worked with the other fabrics and perfect for  stamping on.
 I did some stamping on a beige-gray fabric with the green patina paint and
 silk screened some words on the light green noil. The newer fabrics look like they might work.
I also did some re-arranging to allow for some of the hexagons to pop. It's all pinned and ready to go...I'm not much of a piecer but I do like this piece so far and hope I can pull it off. One thing is for sure...whether I go home with a pieced top or not...it will be 3 wonderful fun filled days. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fiber Junkies Pt. 2

So to continue with our fun day of exploring alcohol inks....here is the beginnings of Denny's piece.
The base is shaving cream; inks were dropped on top and because of the alcohol, made little hollows in the cream.
Denny smeared the inks and then...
using a stylus, created a pattern. A piece of fabric was laid on top, gently pressed and the image was created.
This is the piece that Val brought to work on...a rusted fabric highlighted with Caran D'Ache oil pastels.
Will be anxious to see what Val does with this. I'm sure this is just the starting point and she will use  other techniques as another layer.
Here are the powdered Primary Elements by Lumiere, mixed with an acrylic medium. You only need a dash of powder to get good color. They are the consistency of paint and permanent because of the medium which also leaves a slight hand to the fabric.
This was perhaps the most exciting discovery of the day. Mary did some research on making your own inks. So here goes....don't get rid of your dried out Sharpie markers....Break the pen in half to reveal the inside. Use inexpensive scissors to cut away the plastic tube and uncover the felt filled with ink. Place the felt in a small container filled with a little rubbing alcohol.
Give it a good shake and let it set for a few minutes...doesn't take long and look at the wonderful color.
These inks work well on fabric (and are permanent) although you don't get the wonderful spreading affect you get on paper.
This is Yupo paper with the same inks - such a different look.
Here is Gen using inks on Yupo paper, dropping them while blowing through a straw.
A really interesting effect.
Denny had screened this image of houses and used ink on top as a second layer.
Kate likes to take hopeless pieces of fabric to try and make them better....and she always nails it. I've given her many "bad pieces" and she magically turns them into a thing of beauty making me wonder "Why did I part with that fabric"?
And another...
Some papers drying....
Here is a book Denny brought to show the many techniques for using alcohol inks....a beautiful publication. Meanwhile, down in sunny Florida at the same time, our blogger friend Robbie was doing the same techniques with her friend...She had many wonderful ideas to share...Check out her blog for even more ways to use this fun ink.