Saturday, February 24, 2018

Getting Ready

 Our annual retreat is right around the corner...can't believe a year has gone by. This will be our 10th annual time and it just gets better and better. I have made way too big a deal over what to bring to work on...going from one thing to another....bottom line...it should be simple, no brainer so I can sew and listen to all the fun stuff going on.
 Another priority is to try and use up fabric from my stash...well, it's never gonna happen...sure you can understand but I like to think I'm making a tiny dent. I had some fabrics that all worked together and chose this pattern I found on Pinterest.
Everything is cut and pinned and just ready for sewing...looks a little complicated but the fact that I'll be in a room full of amazing piecers...know it will be fine.
I still have 2 quilts almost done and probably should finish up with them but this held more appeal...will keep you posted. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Journals

Years ago I started making blog books - it's a printing of your blog in book form for whatever length of time you want...I do it yearly. I first heard about it while reading Kay Sorensen's blog. She does a blog book every year - it's her journal. I've never been one to keep a journal although I love the idea. Much as I've tried, I just forget or am not motivated enough, I'm convincd you have to have the "genes" to do it. I had an artist friend years ago - Sybil Rampen, who lived in Toronto; I taught with her so many times, she loved life and she loved journaling her life adventures. She had an entire bookcase full of journals - all hand written with watercolors of places and things that were part of her daily life. So long story short, her and Kay inspired me to do a blog book as it is my journal; it's wonderful to look back on memories I've created over the years.
 You can go back through your blog postings and do a book at anytime for any time period. I'm up to year 2015, I wait for the sales. I use the cover to highlight a quilt made during that year or an extra special event. In 2010, it was my daughter's wedding; she and her hubby - Adam were on the cover. The cover color was a deeper blue - the same color as her bridesmaids dresses with bubbles (which they had instead of rice). In 2012 the cover featured my new little granddaughter.
The back coverss often feature my little granddaughter Audrey. Since I mostly blog about fiber art and my fiber groups and girlfriends, the books are filled with those events but I do manage to sneak in family and of course my cats...This is my life afterall....and I love looking back on so many wonderful memories. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Inspirations for a New Quilt

A while back, I was visiting John C. Campbell Folk Art School in North Carolina. It is a beautiful place and provides endless opportunities of inspiration for art.  I do a lot of picture taking so while walking around the campus, I came upon many wonderful and interesting things to photograph. 
This old water wheel, still in place was corroded and scarred from the passage of time. The stone wall behind it was stained and boasted of many hours of being subjected to rushing waters.
It was old, it was worn and it was beautiful in its own right.
The moss and crumbling rocks just added to the charm.
I was feeling a very strong connection to this water wheel and the beautiful plant life, weeds and moss.
I also found some amazing doors which I love to photograph, especially the very old and worn ones.
Now here's a door for you....brightly painted with beautiful latching.
However,  this is more to my liking - the old painted peeling door...
and this which is not really a door but some wonderful weathered wood.
So I had to decide and the water wheel won out.  I put the photograph into Photoshop elements and turned it into a black and white and then did "find edges" in filters...
and this one which is "photocopy" in filters. I've always liked the "find edges" as I think it gives you more of a feel of values and distinct lines...but both will be used in the design process. Stay tuned for the step by steps on how this photo became a quilt. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday. Check out these wonderful sites to see what other fiber artists are doing.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Beautiful Work

I fell behind in my blog posts in December - lots going on including a trip to New York with my daughter. At our annual holiday party, we had so many beautiful things to share and so I thought ...why not, it's never too late to share.
Denny has made several of these beautiful bags for holding all kinds of things - the perfect size.
She color codes the different sections with zippers which is such a smart idea - pink for needles, beige for buttons etc...you get the idea.
Mary showed us her latest big piece inspired by her large Japanese fabric collection given to her by a friend. Mary doesn't love Japanese fabric but she does a beautiful job working with these very high energy fabrics.
Our wonderful girlfriend Val (this is her birthday picture) announced that this would be her last meeting with us. Due to health issues, Val is backing out...we're hoping it's only temporary. She has brought so much happiness and inspiration to our gatherings...it won't be the same without her. At our gift exchange, I was lucky enough to get Val's gift and can share with you all the wonderful things she made. We've always said she has magical hands. I often get to be next to her at a meeting and follow what she does, hoping my piece will turn out just a little like hers...but not gonna happen.
First thing in her bag of goodies, was this beautiful handmade book done with Eco prints. Val got us started with this technique, setting up the Eco pot etc. at one of our outdoor meetings at her house.
For these books, she uses a very heavy paper - Khadi paper great for eco printing. These are some of the inside papers in the book.
Val is so clever and innovative in her use of materials - here a doily is popping out as part of a page.
And some trim on the other side.
 The inside of the book is just as magical...
 with silk screens of her beautiful drawings.
 I loved this book with the unusual closure...
 and beautiful hand painted papers she created.

 And another booklet, each one was more beautiful and interesting than the one before.
  The back and inside...
I love to take them out and keep them close to where I'm working so I can pick them up and soak in the magic. 
This was probably my favorite as she used tissue paper thin paper as a cover and some wonderful hand stitching on the binding. It's very delicate. Most of the inside papers are blank and can used for anything....thoughts, quotes, a small journal.

I was fascinated with the paper that Val used and did a search to see if I could track some down...first place - Dick Blick as they seem to have everything and ....success!
So of course I had to order some.
They are beautiful, luscious and a little bit fragile.
but hopefully, I'll find a way to use them. In the meantime, I'll just drool over them on my studio design wall.

And our super Fiber Junkies group...Love those gals!  I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday...Check them out!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fiber Junkies - Pt 2

To continue our day, a few days later, our day was devoted to foiling...some of us had tried it before and some not... so it was fun for all.
We had loads of foil, fabric and adhesive so we were off and running.
 We had a beautiful selection of different color foils.
I had tried (and taught) foiling years ago and realized it worked beautifully with a silkscreen. At first I thought the adhesive was too thick and would clog up the screen but not so; it's important to get the screen cleaned quickly but we had a pan of water we put the screens in as we used them.
Here is the first foiling I did years ago in Jane Dunnewold's Complex Cloth week long workshop.
The technique involves using a special adhesive that you apply to the surface of a fabric with various tools - some of which included stencils, paint brushes, silkscreens etc...you get the idea. Above, foil adhesive was applied with paint brushes.
This is a stencil which worked very well. The adhesive is allowed to dry for at least an hour before applying the foil.
Another option instead of adhesive is a fusible web. Years ago, I was teaching foiling along with other surface design techniques - it was a venue I traveled to by plane. I packed everything in a suitcase and when I reached my destination, opened my suitcase to get ready for workshops, I realized they had confiscated my adhesive and left a "teeny, tiny note" telling me that they went through my suitcase...what to do?  One of my students suggested using fusible web which worked like a charm. It's not as spontaneous a look but still good. So for Fiber Junkies, I decided to do a sampler of different methods of foiling. Above I used Heat and Bond craft weight...results to follow.
Another clever way to foil is to sprinkle Bon Ash on fabric (and don't sneeze) and then lay foil on top. Unlike adhesive, there is no "drying" time,  it can be foiled right away.
Foiling is the opposite of what you might think. When I was first introduced to it, I thought the foil had to touch the fabric and ironed from the back.....but the foil faces up and you press on top of it; it releases itself from the cellophane and onto the fabric. It's an easy process with beautiful results. Here is Gen at the ironing board

and here are some of Gen's fabrics - so many beautiful fabrics came out of our day of playing. 
This was a silkscreened fabric done with discharge paste. I used the same screen and offset it just a tad and did some foiling with bronze colored foil. It was subtle but pretty.
Here is my sampler - left to right - Heat and Bond craft weight fusible, in the middle a silkscreen and to the right, Wonder Under fusible web sewing weight. All worked well but I loved the silkscreen for the detail you can get.
This is Bon Ash with copper colored foil...
and here is the stencil on left, brush strokes made with foil adhesive in middle, on right something foiled that I didn't let cool long enough. Technique says you should let your fabric cool down before you pull the foil paper off, something I neglected to do and a good lesson on what not to do.
A great day as always with wonderful friends. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.