Monday, June 19, 2017

Simple Pleasures

A bouquet of peonies from my garden in a vase on my coffee table. The dark pink ones smell like roses and scent the whole room.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

R is for


One of the fiber groups of which I am a member, FANE, puts on a show every Autumn with a theme. This year's theme is The Alphabet and each member was assigned a letter. I got R and kicked around a lot of ideas before I settled on Rose.

I have a lot of photos of rose closeups that I have taken over the years. I really liked the colors in this one and I was pleased to find these hand dyed fabric in my stash (dyed by me). I auditioned several "R"s before I chose  this one. Actually I did another one first and it was a disaster.

Each quilt has to be 16" x 20" which was a nice small size to work on.

There were some letters not taken so I decided to do another. That will be B and if you follow my blog you won't be surprised that I will be doing Buttons. It will be a combination of real buttons and button stamps that I have made. I look forward to working on it.

Each participant also has to make a coloring book page that follows the design of the quilt. Coloring books will be on display and for sale at the show. I haven't started on that yet.

I will be joining up with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sun # 7

The card that I picked for June was Positive/ Negative and I knew immediately what I wanted to do.

My first choice of fabrics was gold and silver lamÄ—, but when I put it up on the design wall they just sort of blended into each other. So I went back to my Duponi silks.

I used metallic silver and gold thread to outline the faces and black thread in a free-motion satin stitch.

I did a free-motion straight stitch for the rays. 

I don't know what prompt I will have next, but I want to do another one with a lot of machine stitching. I am having such a good time with these faces.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Fridays. Go check it out and leave some comments so the artists will know you have visited.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sun #6

Remember me? I'm the one who used to blog at least once a week. Being out of the house and my studio for a week and then getting into gardening mode, I just haven't had anything to show. But I did finish this sun block where I had to "put objects in a grid".

I had fun with this one, even though I did a lot of ripping out and doing over. I used a fabric marker by Crayola on the upper left yellow sun and the two on the far right. They were the easiest to do.

For the other suns I used Pearl Ex Pigment Powers. I had purchased these several years ago and then never really know how to use them. For the center sun with the spiral I mixed the gold powder with yellow paint. I didn't think the metallic showed up very well, I mixed the other powers with textile medium and I was very pleased with those results.

This was Super Copper and it looks very metallic, especially against the dark blue.

This powder was Pink Gold. I also use Sparkling Gold for the sun at the bottom of the block.

And here they are all together. The next card that I drew was Positive/Negative. I hope to work on that this week. 

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pink Snow

We have a lot of flowering trees in my development and every year I am thrilled with these crabapples. As beautiful as they are in bloom on the trees, I love the way the fallen petals on the ground resemble pink snow.

I have started taking my phone with me on my morning walks, good for counting my steps and also for capturing any plant beauty that I see.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Finally....Sun # 5

Yep, I finally finished my hand embroidered sun a few days ago. I would have been done sooner, but I wasn't satisfied with the face. As my sister pointed out, she looked sad and I agreed, so I laboriously picked out all the stitching, using the tips of my very sharp Gingher embroidery scissors and a tweezer. I made a new face separately and buttonhole stitched around the edges. Again, as my sister said, this new one looks quite pleased with herself.

I only used a few stitches: running stitch variations, chain stitch, French knots, outline stitch, and button hole.

The little tendrils around the edges were an afterthought. I thought that it looked a little static with just the sharp points. Of course, that added to the time. I'm glad it's finished and I will definitely send this one into CBS.

The next card that I drew was "Put objects in a grid pattern" and I think I know exactly what I'm going to do. I will be out of my studio and my house for a few days. I am having all the floors on the first floor done over. I am taking out the hated tile in my kitchen and replacing it with hardwood and having all the rest of the hardwood floors refinished to match in a nice mellow color, a bit darker than what I have now. Fortunately my sister lives two doors down from me so I will move in with her and will be close enough to check in on the progress. Tomorrow the movers are coming to move all the furniture into the garage for the duration. It's been a LOT of work because I had to empty china closet, book cases, etc, etc, take down pictures, put away all accessories but I think I'm going to love it when it's done.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Sun #4

The last card that I drew for the External Forces project was stitching, hand or machine. I decided to do hand embroidery and I'm still not finished. It is taking me forever as I stitch an hour or two almost every evening in front of the TV. So I decided to also make a machine stitched sun, which only took a few hours.

Everything was done by machine. The rays are free motion quilted just using a straight stitch back and forth with two different variegated threads.

I used Dupioni silk for the face and a free motion narrow satin stitch for the features.

I'm almost done with the hand stitched one and I'll show you that when it's done.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tortured Napkins

If there was an Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Vintage Napkins, I would be in big trouble, even though it all turned our OK in the end.

Here's my story and I'm sticking to it:

You may remember that I did some snow dyeing before I went to Florida and I was thrilled with the results. I dyed a dozen cotton damask napkins to go with a certain table cloth.

This purchased linen-like tablecloth is actually a large patchwork. The center, which covers most of the table top has this blue background. The other patches which are at the corners and edges are a soft pink and beige background. The napkins picked up all the colors. However I decided that I would like some luncheon size in the same colors.

I had been given some beautiful linen luncheon sized napkins and was looking forward to dyeing them when I got home from La La Land. I had saved the names of the colors and used the same dyes for this set of twelve. When I did the cotton damask ones I was quite distressed when I took them out of the dye. They were a very dark red. But it all washed out and I got the luscious pastels you see above. You can see more of them here.

So when I took the linen napkins out of the dye and they were a dark red, I didn't worry. I figured it would wash out like the first batch. Wrong! Apparently linen grabs the dye better than cotton.

Here are the two napkins side by side.

I took them to my FiberWorks meeting and they all liked them and said I  should keep them and perhaps use them in an art piece. But I wanted pastel napkins and here is where the "torture" begins.

I bought two packages of Rit color remover, all done in the washing machine on hot water with a 30 minute setting. I did this twice and go the results below.

Not too bad, but  a little too beige. I over dyed them with Rit dye, Petal Pink. I could have sworn that I took a picture of the results, but they are nowhere to be found. Trust me, they were the most bilious shade of pink. So back to the grocery store to get more boxes of color remover, two more times through the wash and I was back to where they were before the pink dyeing. Not too bad, but I wanted them lighter.

Soooooo, I put them in with a bunch of cleaning rags left by the cleaning girls and added a cup of bleach. Voila! Success!  They were a much better color.

I used them for a FiberWorks meeting at my house with aforementioned table cloth and I thought they looked terrific. Should have taken a picture, but didn't. This whole ordeal is a testament to how very sturdy these napkins are. They are certainly none the worse for the wear.

Lesson learned: Linen and cotton take dye differently. I do have some more linen napkins, but I plan to dye them shibori style with dark blue dye. 

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.