Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pen Pals

 FANE (Fiber Artists of the North East) is having another challenge, this one called Pen Pals.  We were randomly paired with another member and we each are to make a quilt using something in our studio that we purchased and never used.  We are to consult each other by email (thus the pen pal title) and keep some sort of journal noting our progress.  The quilts can be any size and we get to keep our quilt after the reveals in September.  Jamie, my pen pal, is using a Day of the Dead fabric by Alexander Henry that's been in her stash for a long time.

I decided to use these five copper three-inch squares that I bought in Houston a couple of years ago, The copper was treated with some kind of chemicals to give this effect. I thought they were very cool but never found the opportunity to use them.  At first I though I would pair them with some blue rust-dyed fabric I made a few years ago, but I couldn't find it and now I think that I had used it all up.

So I pulled out the fabrics I had made in the Jan Meyers-Newbury workshop I attended last year.  I thought that these rust colored fabrics would work. I auditioned many different fabrics and combinations and let it simmer on my design wall before I finally came up with this,

I  will attach the copper squares after it is quilted.  Right now they are just taped on. It also looks a little wonky right now because it is not all sewn together. I may also attach some other copper things like washers or coins, but that will be decided later. I'm also thinking of using some copper colored thread for some of the quilting.  What do you think?

I am linking up with Nina-Marie Sayer's "Off the Wall Friday".  Hop and on over and see what everyone is doing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

In my garden this morning.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Finished Quilting

I finished the quilting on my second texture piece yesterday.  I trimmed it and it is amazingly very square.  Now I'm ready for the painting, but first I have to decide if I want to bind it first and also paint the binding.  Or perhaps I should paint it and them bind it, as I did on the other painted quilt.  Or do I want to face it after the painting?  I have three art quilt meetings in the next three days where I will bring it unpainted for Show and Tell, then I will decide what to do. It's hard to see all the quilting that I've done.  Check out the photos below.

A couple of my FiberWorks members said that I should leave it as it is, that the visual texture of the fabric and the tactile texture of the quilting is enough, but I still want to paint it and I will.

quilting detail

Quilting detail 

I've linked my blog this weekend with Nina Marie Sayer's "Off the Wall Friday" blog.  Hop on over and scroll down to the bottom and you can see links to many other talented artists and see what they have been up to this week.  Just click right here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More Samples

I have been busily quilting away at my second texture piece, but I wanted to make some more samples to try out paint colors.  Since I am doing some redecorating in my home I  have quite a bit of  leftover wall paint stashed in the basement.

Here are some more colors tried on my original sample. In some places it's color on top of color, but I didn't really love any of them.

This is the newest sample. On the far left is the medium blue that I thought would be perfect, but I think it just looked blah.  On the far right is the very dark navy/teal that I put on the bathroom walls. Way too dark!  In the middle is the pale aqua that I am going to use.  It contrasts with all the colors beneath.  I may overpaint some sections. In the upper left corner I tried using a shiva paint stick. I may do a bit of that on the big quilt.

I have about an hour or two of quilting to go on the big piece.  Maybe I'll finish it today and then I can do the painting.  Are you wondering why I am using wall paint?  Well it is the perfect constancy and gives just the right amount of coverage. Does it make the quilt stiff?  Yes, it does, but this is a wall hanging and I don't care if it's stiff. I tired using acrylic paint but the wall paint works better and I have a lot of it.  Recycling, right?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happy Dance

I'm doing the Snoopy Happy Dance because I just got notification that both of my entires to the big IQA World of Beauty show in Houston, TX were accepted. I'm not showing pictures because there was some discussion last year about showing your work before it hangs at the show.

But if you follow my blog at all you will know both of these quilts.  The first one is a collaboration quilt that I did with Kathy Loomis, called Brown Planet, a Collaboration.  It was entered as a two person quilt in the Art Abstract, Large category.

You have also seen the other one, part of my configuration city series titled Emerald City.  That will be in the Art Abstract, Small category.

So I am a happy camper and now have to make plans to go to the show.  I have been to about eleven of the Houston shows, skipping last year because I didn't have anything that I wanted to enter. I usually go with my sister who has other plans this year so I will be going with friends.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Nature's Beauty

Gwen, one of the members of our FiberWorks group, has chickens of different breeds (not sure if that's the right word) that lay different colored eggs.  She will bring a dozen to the meeting if you give her a little notice and this week she brought some to my house.

Aren't they beautiful?  The pictures don't do them justice, since the pale ones actually have a blue/green tinge.  I had one for lunch today, over-easy and the yolk was bright orange (should have snapped a picture) and it was delicious! I haven't had eggs this fresh in a long time. Many years ago there was a local farmer that sold eggs, but he is long gone.  Who knows the age of the eggs we get in the supermarket?

So thank you, Gwen.  I am having house guests this weekend and I will offer these for breakfast.  Even if they don't want any I will be sure to show them off.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I almost always do a small sample or study when  am making a big quilt to try out quilting designs and thread colors.  This one is doing double duty because I also wanted to try out paint colors.

Here is the little sample made up of the same colors in the big quilt.  No design thought went into it.  I just wanted to get all those colors in and play with some quilting motifs.

And here it is after some painting.  See how the quilting designs pop out.  I started with a cream colored acrylic paint and didn't like that very much and went back and added a light aqua.  I like that better, but I'm still not sure what color I will use on the big quilt. I'm leaning towards light blue. Now you can see why I used such vivid colors for the piecing.  The painting tones it way down.

Now to get back to quilting he real McCoy.  It really isn't a very big quilt, only 30" x 30", but it will have a lot of quilting on it as in the sample.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

New texture quilt, just the beginning

For my second texture quilt, I knew that I wanted to do piecing, intense quilting and then paint it. I've done this before where I took a quilt that was a disaster, but I loved the quilting I had done on it.  I cut out a section, the size I needed, and I painted it.  I thought it was a success.

But this time I have to start a new quilt with the idea of it being painted.  It's been rolling around in the back of my mind for weeks. So today since I was spending this sweltering day inside in my beautiful AC, I said to myself, "Just do it!".  I went through some fabric that I had parfait dyed a couple of years ago.  I had really liked it but didn't know what to do with it.  I wanted something strong with some interest that would hold up to being over-painted.

This is what I came up with.  The first three were from the same parfait batch, so I knew that they would play well together.  I added the fourth and later a fifth to spark it up.

I used a very simple block made up of three rectangles.  I cut out stacks of fabric 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" and played with the colors.  It went together 1, 2, 3.  So easy and fast, but I like it.  I know that the colors are not for the faint of heart, says she who just had her guest bathroom painted navy blue and is loving it. And remember that this will be painted over after the quilting.  I'm not sure what that color will be, maybe a very light blue or green.

I hope to start the quilting tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Parsley Worm

My friend, Carolyn, and I were comparing gardening notes this morning and I mentioned that something was eating my parsley.  She sent me this picture to see if it was the same thing that she had on hers.  Yup!  That's it!  Hard to believe that something so beautiful can be so destructive.  I had a terrible time getting parsley this year and couldn't  find any until long after my other herbs were well established.  It was finally coming into its own and now it's nearly decimated.  I guess I'll be buying cut parsley at the grocery store this year.

I did some online research and found that the caterpillar turns into this spectacular Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Some people grow parsley and other related plants such as dill and Queen Annes Lace just to attract the butterflies, which in turn will lay their eggs that will turn into the caterpillars.  A beautiful circle of life.

If you don't mind getting a little creeped out, watch this video of the worm having a magnificent lunch.
Turn up the volume and you can hear the crunching!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fussy Binding

I spoke to a friend on the phone the other day and we got to talking about how to finish a quilt she was working on.  I told her how I was going to finish my red quilt and she said, "Oh, your'e going to fussy-bind it."  I had never heard the term before, even though it's something I have done many times.

When I finish an art quilt I usually don't want to put a traditional binding on it, but will face it instead.  But often I don't like the way the corners come out, even though I've tried several methods. So I will "fussy-bind" it, which means that will I piece the binding to match the quilt. What I've done in the past is to piece each side and sew it on, but then I have to have butted corners, when I so prefer mitered.


For this red piece I started sewing the binding on one side and kept piecing as I went along, so that I could get those mitered corners.  Ignore the lumpy look of the binding; that's because it's still pinned on the back.  When I hand sew it down, it will be very smooth.  Same thing for the mitered corner.