Portfolio of older work

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holiday and Friday Favorites.

Before I forget, Happy Whatever Holiday that you celebrate.   For me it is Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I don't have a handmade nativity quilt but I wanted to show a nativity scene here.  First I tried clip art but it just didn't have the warmth I wanted. So I considered stealing a picture of a nativity quilt (is it stealing if you give credit?) but was concerned about the ethics of "stealing" a nativity scene.  Hmmm... didn't sound good. So, here is my compromise.  The nativity quilt I fell in love with was made by a very gifted artist (not me) at King Mountain Treasures and is for sale here.   Go have a look for yourself.

On to Friday Favorites.
 Elizabeth Barton at "Art and Quilts, Cogitations Thereon" wrote an article on Dealing with Leftovers.  The first half of the article was the part that was most interesting to me.    Elizabeth gives a really good argument why making and keeping art journals is important.  I have not kept an art journal before.  You know that I have signed up for a drawing class and am batting around the idea of joining the sketchbook challenge all with the intent of increasing my artistic skills.  Elizabeth makes a lovely quilt based on a collage she had made years earlier.  Yep, I have got to start playing around more with drawing and sketching and journals and collages so that I can design better quilts.  Elizabeth has sold me.  I think that I am headed into a good direction for me.

I have yet to win a Fist Full of Thread from Laura at Artfabrik but I will be entering again this coming Tuesday.  Those threads of hers are delicious.  I might have to break down and buy some if I don't win.

Dotti at "Pieceful Musings"  gives a lovely tutorial on using Soft Scrub and freezer paper to discharge with a stencil.  She even tells you how to correct boo-boos and where to buy the chlorine neutralizer--it is a new one that I have not heard about using before.  "This is used to treat water for fish tanks and can be purchased in any store that sells pet supplies...I found mine at the grocery store."  Thanks, Dotti!

If you are a hand stitcher, or would like to be, have you discovered Pin Tangle yet?  If not, this post gives an overview of what Sharon has been doing this last year and will be doing in the coming year.  She also has tons and tons of free downloads of stitches.  One of the classes she is offering is on art journals--notice the glint in my eye.  Here is the descriptor "Studio Journals a Designers Workhorse is offered on February 15th. This online class covers the process of using a Studio journal to create designs suitable for textiles such as contemporary embroidery, or quilting. You do not have to know how to draw. This workshop covers the process of how to keep a studio journal, how to develop an idea further, and how to turn it into a design suitable for a project in fiber."  Oh, yeah!  I will be deep into my drawing class but I hope to have time to pick up this workshop since this sounds like my goal.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Heart of Steel

3 Quilts this weekend

 I worked on quilts in 3 different categories this last weekend.

I finished my first quilt that uses rusty steel as the batting or innards.  It is 12" by 10" by 1.5".  I really like it and it fits the current SAQA definition of a quilt.  Encouraged by Beth's example I have submitted it as entry for  Volusia Wrapped in Fiber.  It is a last minute thing.  I am not holding my breath on this entry.

Then I finally started my quilt for Interpret This!  I debated and debated how to interpret this last picture in the challenge. Truth be told, I am tired of trying to produce a quality work of art each month based on a picture that has no meaning for me.  Not that I haven't grown tremendously this last year because of the challenge.  I am just ready to move on to other things.  But finally, as I was taking a nap on Saturday, I decided how I was going to finish in a way that I am excited about.  I immediately got up and got started cutting and sewing.

Last quilt category for the weekend.  I was asked on Sunday if I had a quilt I could donate to a family I don't know as a Christmas present.  My first response was, "Are you INSANE?!"  But I was at church and feeling the spirit of the the Lord at this Christmas season and I remembered a quilt that I did have that could be given.  So, with a wish of joy to the family, the quilt is being delivered today.  It will serve the function for which it was made.  I had the opportunity to use the talent/skill that I enjoy to serve someone in need.  How wonderful that someone thought to ask me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I got IN!

Yep, that is Nancy Crow's barn and that is where I am going to be in May! 
I got the last slot open in the class I wanted!  

Friday Favorites

Have I told you that I have signed up for a beginning drawing class at my university?  The class starts on January 10 and meets twice per week through the end of April.  The grade is based on your portfolio of drawings.  I am not a great drawer and never have been so I have my trepidations but I want to get better.  I decided to be brave and give it a try.

Along that line, I have just discovered the Sketchbook Challenge.  I don't know that I will formally join the challenge but following it will certainly give me another incentive to work, work, work on my drawing skills.  A second benefit to me is the group of artists who are participating in the Challenge.  My goal with the drawing lessons is to be able to translate my lines into fiber art.  The university class is strictly paper.  However, many of the artists participating in the sketchbook challenge are fiber artists and make the translation in their own work.  It will be lov-er-ly to have their helpful tips and hints.

Here is another WIP at Janeville.  I love her stuff. Don't get tired of looking at it.  She also has a mini-tutorial on how to use your drawings in collage or quilts.   And then there are these 3-D leaves  at Loose Ends that I love too.  Don't bother with the video--doesn't really show you how to do anything.  Jane and Geni are both in the Sketchbook Challenge. And Laura at Periwinkle Art Quilts put me onto this fiber artist.  Laura thought I would love her work.  Oh yes, I do love Kirsten Chursinoff's work.  Another person I can use for inspiration! Here is a peek into her process.

Malka Dubrawski is all over the internet these days advertising her new book, Fresh Quilting.  I love the contemporary quilts but am not really interested in repeating someone else's design. However, here Malka shows off a quilt that has hand embroidery in it.  NOW she is really talking my language!  LOL

If you are just waiting for snow so you can snow dye, you need to check out "Art ADD works for me." 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Play Date and Blue Roses

Last Saturday we got together for a play date and to celebrate Beth's and Rosalita's birthday. I'm not telling any secrets but Rosalita said she is turning 39 again. The play for the day was silk screen and collages. For my attempts I wanted to try using watercolor crayons with the silk screen. So, first I watched Jane Dunnewold's DVD and then I gave it a try.

Here is my first attempt. I drew directly on the screen with the crayons. I am currently infatuated with blue roses --I'll show you the reason why later--so I drew blue roses. I screened the image using a print paste so there is no color except the crayon. I printed onto 6 ft long length of fabric I had dyed with some blue and green dye earlier. So, the blue and green in the background is from the previous dye. The crayons left only the distinct markes I had made. I probably printed 6 or so times before the marks were too faded.

This is my second attempt with watercolor crayons and silk screen. This time I used two new thermofax screens I had made from a photo of a pomegranate cut in half and a photo of the rind and some loose seeds for the second screen. I colored the screens using the water color crayons and then screened them using a metalic gold print paste. The results were a wonderful mix of the colors and each print was colored slightly different. I printed onto the fabric I had eco-dyed with mums at one of our last play dates. I overlapped the images so that it would be more of an allover pattern rather than a print of pomegranates.

In the afternoon we tried to make fabric and paper collages following the directions we found on Wen Redmond's blog. She also has these instructions for collage. Unfortunately it was a while since we had read the article so we did our best. Here is my attempt. I think it is a good beginning and just needs several more layers of stuff.

Okay, on to blue roses. I am going to make a piece named Blue Roses from this silk dress I found at Goodwill.  I am not sure yet how I am going to turn them into a quilt yet. I think I will also include the eco-dyed and silk screen rose material and the bureau scarf I have already started embroidering with my hand dyed pearl cotton. I am open to suggestions.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Favorites

This week I have been finding so many wonderful art quilts that I want to make when I grow up;  I decided to focus mostly on them for my Friday Favorites.  Oh, my friends, how you inspire me!

Jane at Janeville has finished her last piece called Thistles and Rosehips for a nostalgia series.  Look at the layering of fabrics, the use of hand stitching without that taking control of the piece, the uneven edge, the inclusion of machine stitching with purpose, the more detail you see when you get closer.  Yes!  (think of When Harry Met Sally)  Yes! that is what I want my mature work to include.

Check out Beth's moccasins  which are her entry into Volusia:Wrapped in Fiber. Aren't they inspired?!?  I love that they have a message.  Again there is the handwork but  handwork is not the only technique used. They have found objects included on them, applique, painting, and stamping. They would warm my heart as well as my feet.

Quilts from Deb at More Whiffs, Glimmers, & Left Oeuvres could be included in my list of favorites most any day of the week but here with Taken by The Night she spells out a little of her process in putting together her little bits of this and that and turning it into something magical. I need to develop that patience to let things start to speak to me before I start to stitch them in place.

Arlee is another one of my favorite artists and this is why.  Again, see the layering of fabrics, the use of both hand and machine stitching, the playing of the stitching with the rust images without being an echo or over powering them.  Yep.  Good art.

Okay, there are a couple of technique blogs I want to mention here. First is Terry Jarrard-Dimond who gives a mini lesson on value in quilts. Then Gloria Hansen who photographs, photoshops, prints, then burns her images (a woman after my own heart!). And last Jude Hill who produces such magical slow cloth finally gives some short videos showing her process.  YEAH!

If you are interested in following my technique driven blog, And Then We Set It On Fire, now is a good time to sign up as a follower.  Laura has announced we will be playing with Shibori for the month of January.  Time to gather your supplies so you can play with us!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pillowcases for Charity

Wednesday night  I, along with many others, helped two youth groups make pillowcases for chronically ill children.  Most of the youth had never touched a sewing machine before.  I hope they had fun and feel good about the service they provided!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Early Christmas--Nancy Crow

Merry Christmas to me! 
My husband sent off my registration to Nancy Crow's workshop.  There is only one spot left so I hope I make it in.  Once I learn whether I made it in (assuming I do) then my anxiety can switch to whether I qualify as "advanced" as the class is described and on preparing "a short (5 minutes maximum) articulate presentation about their work and be ready to discuss and explain their goals."  YIKES!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tie Dye Onesies

I asked and asked my daughter what to get for her son for Christmas.  Finally she suggested that I dye him some onesies.  What a marvelous idea!!  Here are my first two.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My new Folded Ruling Pen and Friday Favorites

There on the left is my folded ruling pen.  I didn't make it.  I bought it from John Neal Bookseller.  I wanted one after seeing Melanie Testa's blog.  She is making lines every single day with her ruling pen. She even has multiple videos about how to use it.  I need to improve my drawing so I thought having a ruling pen would inspire me to work on drawing skills.  Here is a first attempt (blobs and all).  It is an italigo print I made last year with lines added with the ruling pen.  Once I get a good grasp of the pen, I will start working on fabric.

Friday Favorites
Catherine Bainbridge has an interesting blog.  This post is called cloth doodling and shows how to reverse applique using doodle lines on cloth.  Best explanation I have seen for directions on reverse applique.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Isn't it beautiful?  It is a hand dyed chiffon scarf that arrived in my mailbox yesterday from Flowerpot, Tasmania, Australia.  I was the 505th-ish visitor to Textile Artist, Sue Domene'ys blog, Quilts to Dye For.  Guess what I am wearing today!  Thank you, Sue!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday Favorites

I took a Thanksgiving vacation from the internet so my Friday blog is several days late.  I have a long list of things for which I am thankful but here let me say that I am thankful for the many new friends  I have made through blogging and through coming out of the "art quilter's" closet.

Friday Favorites' Links

Cheryl shows us how to do sticker resist and LED lights on quilts.  I like Cheryl's Technique of the week blogs.  I am glad she is one of the artist who will play on "And then we set it on Fire"

The Quilt Rat posted a second blog on TAP.  Okay, so maybe I will need to try it. But believe me, my doodles never turn out as good as hers!

Tallgrass Prairie Studio is participating in a raffle to raise funds for World Vision.  She and many other modern quilters have formed Modern Relief and have donated 19 quilts to be raffled.  For the price of $10 you can feed a child AND have a chance to win one of the gorgeous quilts.    You just need to go to the link above and click on the pay now button at the bottom of the post. Now that is a thanks giving effort!

Arlee shows us how to build a tree by throwing stuff (not the same technical term she used) into dissoluble layers, stitching it, then washing out the  dissoluble stuff.  Pretty cool. Follow this link then click her arrows to the next two posts for steps "4,5,6, looking like sticks" and "7,8,9, looking mighty fine"

I hope your Thanksgiving was as warm and renewing as mine was!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Detail pictures from the Center of the Universe.

Beth asked for some detail shots of the Center of the Universe so here they are:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Center of the Universe

"Not selected" (as in rejected) for No Holds Barred

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Okay, I did not make a folded pen today but I did finish my ATCs for the month. The theme was "Lines and Grids" and I have the book "Drawn to Stitch: Line, drawing, and mark-making in textile art" by Gwen Hedley.  Hmm....lines and lines.  Sounds like a good match and my chance to crack the book.  I chose to try the lines on pages 96-97.  Those lines were made by stitching on an old brown envelope, wetting the paper, and gently removing most of the paper.

So, first I cut off the side of a brown paper bag and layered it with some cheap polyester organza, one of which was metalic. Then I stitched it  silly using both straight and zig zag stitches. The above picture is at the beginning of the stitching it silly process and the one below is afterwards.

Next I wetted it and crumpled it.  Then picked off most of the brown paper. 

Next I  ironed it and used my heating tool to burn holes in the polyester.  The red is the ironing board cover.
Then I fused it to my beautiful hand dyed black cotton and cut into the ATCs.  Sorry I did not take a picture of it before I cut it up.  I really loved it.

To finish them, I added a parade of straight lines made out of my hand dyed embroidery thread.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Favorites

Well, (deep subject) it looks like I did not make it into the No Holds Barred show.  This was my first attempt to get into a show that didn't have to take my entry.  It is disappointing but I am philosophical.  I submitted one piece and a proposal for second piece.  The first piece I love.  I made it for myself and now that SAQA has passed on it, I will hang it in my office.  Nothing lost there!  The second piece involved some welding that I would have been complicated to do right now.  So, now I will complete that piece this summer when I have more time and the outside weather is more agreeable.  Nothing lost there.  Life will go on. On to Friday Favorites.

You know how much I love bloggers who do all my testing for me. This week I found several.

Lynn at Fibra Artsyta tested the washability of Simply Screen textile paints and she loves them. I am still buying one of this and one of another type of paints so I am happy to have her evaluation and to see if my local art supply store has this economical brand.

And then I came across Terry Jarrard-Dimond experiments with Soft Scrub as a discharge agent.  I had never even thought of it as containing bleach.  I think I will have to add it to my repertory. Terry actually spent the next week on Soft Scrub again. These posts are week #1 and #2 of her 2009 commitment to experiment weekly.  I have started going through her old posts and have found some other "Ah HA!" posts to remember. Even more interesting, I learned how she approached her weekly experiment.  I think I will use a similar approach when I start my monthly experiments for "And then we set it on Fire"

Sue at Quilts to Dye For Blog painted some silk with Setacolor and then  Genesis and compares the effect of both types of paint. I have not heard of Genesis before, have you? Big difference in the results of the two.

Melanie Testa at Every Single Day  has committed to drawing lines every single day.  Most, if not all, of her work is on paper but I see no reason why my lines could not be drawn on fabric.  Melanie also uses a ruling or folding pen that she made.  I want to make one for myself.  It sounds like it would have a lovely mark.  I have no plans for Saturday and a November ATC exchange with a  theme of lines so perhaps I'll make my pen, draw some lines on fabric, and turn them into ATCs all on Saturday.

Enjoy your week!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hand dyed embroidery thread and another Goodwill Find

Here are 5 of the about 12 bundles (what is the right word??) of yarn I dyed in my dark gradations.  It is lovely.  I am already using several of them in my quilt for Interpret This!

This is an ice cube tray found at Goodwill that is going to be used to make soy wax blocks for rubbings.  Won't that be fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites are late this week because I was so busy having fun dyeing with friends!  No apologies.

Wen Redmond, who is one of the SAQA Coordinator for my region, has  posted this awesome article on making collages.  I want to try this technique with the Five.    It ties in nicely with Jill's post below.

The Quilt Rat posted a great review of TAP.  Doesn't seem like a product that I need to go out and immediately buy. That so totally works for me since I have already spent my quilt/art budget for the month.  My budget always seems to be spent by the 3rd or 4th day of the month. Then by the 15th of the month I am starting to eat into my grocery shopping budget to buy those things that just can't wait till the next month's shopping spree.  Dear Hubby will be happy not to have to eat bread and water at the end of this month (for a change).

I'll give you the link to Dark Gradation again.   I posted my dark gradation results yesterday and later today or tomorrow I will show you some of the embroidery thread I dyed at the same time.  It is luscious. 
The link to dark gradation led  me to the Lazy Dyer.  The lazy dyer tells you all the shortcuts that she takes in dyeing and that do not seem to make a difference. They were a good read.  I have tried several different recipes for how much of this and how much of that to add.  I am starting to develop my own preferences now. Wooo Hooo!  maybe there is hope for me to become more than an accidental dyer.

I know that I have loved other stuff this week.  It seems like I have learned a lot this week. But let me end with a quote from Margaret's blog that I love.  
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance 
in the rain"  ~ Anonymous

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dark Gradation

Beth found a great blog on dark gradations so that is what we did on our Five playdate Thursday.  Here are my results in fabric.  I also dyed some embroidery floss but it is still rinsing.