Portfolio of older work

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole with Bea--Clue 2

Okay, pretend this is last Friday.  Our assignment for last week was to stitch our altered cloth.  Here are pictures of my two pieces stitched.    Both pieces were hand embroidered with cotton floss and I just tried to accent some of the lines left by the dye.  (Oops, on the second one you can still see some of my drawn lines for stitching.  They will disappear!)
Now the goal is to have Clue 3 finished in time for the reveal on Friday.  This time we are supposed to cut up our pieces (WHAT!!!!!) and sew them back together. Wish me luck.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Little Miss Abby

Little Miss Abby, my granddaughter, has a birthday coming up.  I asked her to draw some pictures, her mommy says Abby likes to draw, and then I would turn one into a quilt.  Here is my favorite drawing.  Won't it make a wonderful child sized quilt?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Down the rabbit hole with Bea

I have decided to join in another brief challenge (call me a fool!)  but it fits into my year of surface design techniques.   Bea at Dog in The Hole Studio is holding a 5 week mystery challenge.  I have joined it after seeing the work done by  Deborah at While You Were Waiting.  I am a week and a half behind but fortunately the first Clue was to alter some fabric and I have been doing that in the snow all week.  So here are two 9x7 pieces of altered cloth that started out as my husband's white shirt.  Clue Two is to stitch the altered fabric to some batting.  I'll be doing that down in Boston over the next couple of days. Then, I'll be caught up and ready to start Clue Three that will be revealed on Friday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Addiction

Beverly told me that I would get addicted to snow dyeing but I assured her that I was not so easily won.  Then I uncovered the material I left in the snow yesterday.  I immediately soaked more fabric in soda ash, shoveled more snow in the rain, and squirted the snow with dye like a snow cone.  I am addicted.  Here is my first snow dyed experimental piece.  What do you think?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Snow Dyeing

I have been inspired by reading everyone else's attempts at snow dyeing.  I decided that my chance was now or in months so, on my way to church this morning, I looked for piles of snow.  All the rest of the winter snow is long gone but where snow was once piled many feet high, there are still small mounds remaining.

I guess the secret to snow dyeing is to put  your fabric in something where the snow and dye can drain through. So, I put some soda soaked fabric in the bottom of my wicker laundry basket, topped it with icy snow, then squirted the snow with yellow, green, and purple dyes.  The whole thing is still sitting in my backyard doing its thing.  I'll check on it tomorrow.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

ATC Take Home from Shanghai Series

I have finished 8 ATCs using my leftover hand dyed silk from Dinner in Shanghai.  I had already named the series, Take Home From Shanghai, since it is  piece of silk from my Dinner in Shanghai that folks could have in their home.  Not real creative.  Anway, if I had not aleady named it I would have named it Layers.

As I am finishing the series I have been thinking about a blog I read about working in a series (was it yours? I tried to find it but can't). The point made in the blog is that we rarely get something right the first time.  We get better when we work and re-work an idea.  The blogger also said that often we have more than one thing to say about a concept and it is better to stick to a single concept in an art work.  Jude has made some similar comments about the benefits of working in a series as she was exploring squares. (Please forgive me if I am not quoting exactly but those are some points that I took away.)

So, with this series I worked with layers.  It was fun to see what beads, gold braid, stenciling, fringe, and stitching looked like when on top of, between, or under a see-through piece of fabric.  See what I mean with these 5 cards?  Oh, and by the way, I am willing to trade them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Take Home from Shanghai

Okay, I did not print fabric tonight.  Just too tired.  Maybe I will tackle it tomorrow night.

I did finish my first ATC in my Take Home from Shanghai series.  I am using the little bit of leftover silk from the Dinner in Shanghai art quilt I made for the February Interpret This! Challenge.  This one goes to Kate North.  Let me know if you would like to trade an ATC for one of mine in this series.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lino Print

Okay, here is the proof of my fish print.  First one print and then a quad print (try not to notice that I accidently turned the print in the bottom left quadrant).  It needs a little smoothing on the edges to make the currents flow smoothly between the prints but it is not bad.

Lino Cut

Here is the first lino cut that I have finished for class. It is a study in positive and negative space.  I have tried to coordinate the designs on the edges so that the print can be repeated  above, below, and beside with a continuous flow of the currents throughout.

I will print it tonight on paper to proof it. Then (if it looks good) I will print it tomorrow on some hand dyed fabric.  If it looks really good (and I am ambitious) I will mask it and print the current in one color and then the fish in different colors. Whatever I do, I'll show you (unless it is an absolute disaster!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Recycle Series ATC

I have finished my 8 ATCs for the March Swap.  The theme was "from the garage."  That made me think of recycling so this is the Recycle Series.

First I gathered several circulars, ads, and other junk mail, scanned them on the copier, and printed it on fabric.  This is a picture of one of the fabric sheets.

Second, had fun with the fabric.  I placed the fabric in a rusty cookie sheet and placed other rusted pieces of metal on them along with a bit of water and vinegar.  I wanted that "thrown in the trash" look. 

Next I stitched different colors of thread and pieces of plastic zip-lock bags such as frozen food and rice comes in.  When I fused the fabric onto the Peltex, the plastic melted into the fabric in delicious ways.

Now I started embellishing the cards with stars made from soda cans, glass beads, and plastic triangles with the #1 carved in them (representing three major materials that can be recycled.

I finished the ATCs with enclosing them in an envelope I made from more circulars and ads. 

 For a first effort, I think it is not bad.

Monday, March 8, 2010


The weekend was wonderful!  I made lots of progress in several projects. 

The "Mountain Man" shirt I am making for my son-in-law is done except for the cuffs.  I want to check the length of the sleeves before I put the cuff on.  The shirt is a traditional early 1800's pattern and much of the work is done by hand.  He would have loved for all of it to be done by hand but then he wasn't the one investing the time to sew it. So, the seams that don't show are done on the machine. Sue me.

I dyed my silk the second color and it is drying now.  I am not thrilled with the batik. I had a lot of trouble finding the right temperature for the wax.  I think I need MUCH more practice before relying on that technique for good result.  I will consider if I want to use that or another resist method before the next dyeing.


I also made progress on my ATC swap project.  This was the first time I have printed fabric on my ink jet.  I am quite pleased with the results and will consider doing more of it in the future. The theme for the swap is "from the garage."  That made me think of recycling so, yes, what looks like a bunch of trash to recycle is really the fabric.

I got the envelopes cut for the cards.  They were circulars and flyers I would generally recycle. Think- reduce, reuse, recycle.   I don't think I will form the envelopes before I have the cards made--I would hate for the envelopes to be too small! 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Getting ready for March's Interpret This!

Saturday!  It is Saturday!  I have been looking forward to it all week.  Not only is it Saturday but one of the few, very rare, Saturdays when I don't have committmets all day long.  So, decided I wanted to go to the Ocean and to Goodwill. I hoped at both of those places to find things needed for my March's Reveal!

We went to Popham Beach.  It is always exciting to see how the beach has changed after each winter.  This year we have a large sandbar that is dry during lowtide so you can walk out to the Island.  However, the ocean has not been kind to the beach this year.  The new bathhouse,  built just a couple of years ago, is a great deal closer to the ocean.   The bathhouse didn't move. 

The ocean has eaten away most of the beach and the dune close to the bathhouse.

But I did find the perfect piece of driftwood!  And what is the beautiful piece of driftwood sitting on?  It is the office chair I found at Goodwill!  My sewing chair had lost a wheel so I have been carefully balancing myself when I sew.  Now, for $2.99 I can sew and roll and swivel and go and up down to my heart's delight.  AND I also found the frame I needed to stretch  my silk for batik.

So far I thought my Saturday was great but when we rolled into the driveway, there was a box from FedEx sitting on my doorstep. 

It is the package from Dick Blick with my lino, ink, brayer, and baren for my lino print class that will start on Monday!  YEAH!  NOW it was a perfect day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lino Print Class

I am so excited!  I can hardly wait for Monday.  Monday I am supposed to receive my first on-line class on lino printing on fabric.   I have dug out my tools and have ordered the inks and other supplies I will need.  And guess when my order is supposed to be delivered--Monday!  I might never go to bed Monday night

I have taken a relief print class before and have even made a print that was accepted into a judged show but it wasn't on fabric.  I tried to convert the technique to fabric but did not have much luck.  It did work a little better when I tried to intaglio rather than relief print the image but it still was not great.  Now  I am expecting greatness!  Well, in a couple of weeks anyway.  LOL

Get ready to see my experiments!  I have another technique planned for my March project on Interpret This! but I sure hope the picture for April's interpretation will lend itself to being hand printed.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Making Beads part 1

I know.  It is Wednesday, not Monday liked I promised, but it has been a hectic week!  I am finally starting to feel like I am on top of things .  Here is a tutorial on how I  made the chopsticks  on Dinner in Shanghai.  The tutorial for the fabric beads which are made very similarly, will be another day.

Here is Dinner in Shanghai. 

First, I had some cheap plastic straws. These will make the lightweight core of the chopsticks and help them keep a nice round shape.  My chopsticks needed to be longer than the straws so I used some masking tape to tape a couple of straws end to end.  I cut off the extra length I didn't need.

Second, I had a lovely silk scarf that I stamped and dyed and discharged and resisted and dyed (practice piece of waste material that seemed to work well for this project)  Of course, you can use a piece of material that you already like.  I cut the fabric to the length I wanted the chopsticks to be--a little longer than the straws-- and wide enough to roll around the straw a couple of times.

Next I sprayed the silk with adhesive.  Not that temporary adhesive you use for holding quilt layers together for basting.  I think it was 3M spray adhesive that I used.  It will be permanent if attached right away.  Of course, protect everything close by from over-spray!
Then you place the straw on one long side of the fabric and start rolling.  Because I started out with a silk scarf--or a piece of one--I made sure the long hemmed edge would be on the outside for a clean finish.

For my chopsticks, I formed one short end into points that were held together by the adhesive. The other short end--which I wanted to flare a bit--I had not sprayed.  That end I wrapped embroidery floss around and around and then tied a knot/bow.    The chopsticks are attached to the wallhanging by a gold metallic thread that I used to decoratively couch the chopsticks into place.  They are a bit stiff with the adhesive and the plastic straw but could be sewn through if you wanted.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Working Late Whine

My husband has been working late every night for at least a month.  You think that would give me more time for quilting. That is what everyone tells me.  "Oh, at least you have more time for quilting!"  Nope. 

He is a wonderful husband and usually helps out with cooking and cleaning and laundry and other household chores.  Now I am trying to be a good wife and let him relax when he comes home tired and exhausted. So, I am doing twice as much cooking and cleaning and laundry and next to no quilting.  In the good old days,  I would occasionally tell him, "I'm not cooking tonight because I'm quilting."  Now how can I say that to my man who is working so hard?? Go hungry because I am having a good time??  Just doesn't sound right.

I am trying not to whine because he is the one stuck at work and working overtime but I am really ready for this work project to be finished and for me and my quilting to come first again.