Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Arizona Sunsets

You have seen this quilt top before that I made quite awhile ago, but I finally got it quilted and bound. I was waiting for the dealer to come to my house and straighten out the problems I was having with my Sweet Sixteen. My problems are mostly resolved and when it's working properly it is a dream. I can just quilt away in a zen-like state, enjoying all that extra room between the needle and the machine. But it is still somewhat temperamental and still doesn't like the Rainbow Superior that I like to use. Superior has come out with a new thread that is supposed to be better, but with the same variegated feature I like. I will have to give it a try.

 It measures 44inches square and it's all made from one striated batik fabric. 

I quilted it very simply , just following the striations in the fabric and quilting pebbles in the circles.

For the back I pieced together some ice-dyed fabrics that I thought coordinated with the front.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Artsy Craftsy

To go along with the skyline pieces that will be hung at The Nest, Jane (our fearless leader) made some wooden structures that she gave us to enhance. The two that I took were about 12 inches high and about 3 1/2 inches on each side. We could do anything we wanted, but we are not to put windows and doors and they are not to look like birdhouses.
For my first one I cut out as many phrases from magazines and catalogs that had anything to do with a house or home. First I painted each side of the cube a different bright color, then I attached the paper with high gloss acrylic medium.

It was fun to do and I could do it while watching Olympics. So I decided to do another one.

This time I went back to buttons, having had a good time with them before, as you can see here and here, and here and here. I painted the whole thing black and then I spiraled around each side with the same color, using good old Eileen's Tacky Glue.

Not exactly art, but a pleasant way to pass the Olympic watching time. It should be an interesting exhibit, knowing how this group comes up with such fabulous ideas. I will post pictures of the exhibit which is in October.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Back Story

Last week I promised to show you the back of my newspaper quilt. I finished all the quilting this week and did what I call corduroy quilting, in which you do straight line quilting back and forth across the quilt about a quarter of an inch apart. This quilt was a pain in the a** to piece, so why should the quilting be any different. I find this to be very tedious (have you heard me use that word before?). Altho you are using a walking foot, which is easy, you have to pivot at the end of each row and turn the quilt around and go back the other way. Some people do very large quilts this way, but I found it difficult to shove that quilt thru the space between the needle and the machine. Free motion quilting is so much easier for me, but I didn't think it would look good on this quilt.

A close-up of the quilting.

Lat week I told you that I had a false start with this quilt and this is it. I thought it was too jarring with those pieced lines inserted, but I did use it as the centerpiece of the back.

And here is the back with that thwarted attempt smack in the middle with some newspaper banners that I didn't use. I went to JoAnn's with my quilt to find some black and white fabric to use on the back and none of them looked right because the quilt really reads as gray, not black and white. I was thrilled to find this print in various shades of gray. To me it looks like script. Some people don't care what they put on their quilt backs, but I do. I usually use a hand-dyed fabric that coordinates with the front and will even dye a piece specifically for that purpose if necessary.

 A close-up of that very cool fabric. 

The finished quilt with binding attached, good handwork while watching the Olympics. Again, I apologize for the photography which makes this look like it's not squared off. Trust me, it is squared!

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday, so hop on over and see what some very talented people are doing. And leave a comment, we all love comments.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Caught In the Act

I have two tomato plants in one big pot on my deck. The plants have gotten huge and are covered with fruit, most of them green right now. They are Sun Golds, a small orangey tomato that is super sweet. I just love them and often eat them right off the vine, savoring their warmth from the sun.

Well, I know I'm not the only one who likes them. I caught this little fellow in the act. I was able to get quite close with my camera before he scampered under the railing painter next to him with just enough room for him to fit. After I left he ran out again to finish his feast.

A small section of the plants. The chipmunk must jump up on the the railing, using a small table nearby to start his jump, then scurry along the railing to eat his purloined goods. That's OK, I have a lot to share and I don't think he eats very much.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

All the news that's fit to print...

I know that I haven't posted anything from my studio in awhile, but I have been busy and driving myself crazy with this little piece. My FiberWorks challenge for this year is At The Library. Since we show these fiber art pieces (we are not all quilters) we thought it would be appropriate to have this theme this year.

I was drawing a total blank as to what to do. My drawing skills are terrible and I really prefer to make abstract quilts. What could I do that would be in my comfort zone and still interpret the theme. On one of my morning walks (where I do some of my best thinking) it came to me, the old joke, What's Black and White and Red All Over? Well, yes, you could say a zebra with a nosebleed, but my answer was The Newspaper! Aha, something I could do in my style.

I had a false start with another style and I will show you that when the quilting is finished because it will go on the back. This piece incorporates a lot of fine line piecing, ala Kathie Loomis. I have done a fair amount of this in other small quilts and loved doing that tedious, fiddly piecing, but I had always done them on diagonal angles, as in these four pieces.

 This time I wanted the piecing to be more or less in a grid. It didn't have to be perfect, but I did want the sections to have some semblance of being perpendicular to each other. I have never done so much unstitching and doing over as I did with this piece. Distortion seemed to be the rule. Not sure why, but I did make me nuts.

The piece is only 24" x 30", the required size. First I had to make all my fabric by copying sheets of the newspaper onto white fabric. I chose different sections of the paper such as the comics, TV guide, sports scores and the news. The newspaper banners were all found on line and printed out in different sizes. I can't remember the last time I put a border on a quilt, but this called for one.

I had fun with the banners. Don't  you love the Paris News with its Eiffel Tower with the red hat on top?

I purposefully made the sections go every which way. I wanted to use the print as texture and thought it was more interesting that way. I will quilt it in straight parallel lines in a pale grey thread.

I'll show it again when I finish the quilting. First I have to piece the back out of my first attempt and some of the banners that I didn't use.

Linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Taken from my front porch last night.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tiny Surprise

If you've followed my blog, you may recall my fondness for succulents. I love the wide variety of color and texture and their ease of care, but most people who grow them don't grow them for their flowers, which are few and far between. So I was surprised to see this charming little daisy-like flower on one of the plants.

It was on a plant in a pot of plants that I was trying to root and apparently they are rooting just fine.

You can see from this pictures that it is a mish-mash of plants, none of them very attractive right now and yet this little flower did its best to spruce things up.

In this container of more established plants you can see a larger version of that same plant on the far right.

Here's a close-up of it looking a lot like pipe organs to me with their hollowed out tips. I have never had one of these bloom before and wonder why the scraggly little new one did. One of those mysteries of nature, but I will take what I can get.

We're having very hot weather here in the North East and I am so grateful for my AC. I do any gardening or walking early in the morning before it gets too steamy, but hey, it's summer and before we know it we'll be complaining about the snow.

Happy Summer!