Monday, September 18, 2017

Sun #10

The card that I drew for this month's sun was "Use some metal". I was excited because this is one that I had been hoping to get. I envisioned curly rays made out of copper wire. turned out to be challenging at every step, but then that is how we learn. I thought I would use either the inside of a soda can or the burnished bottom of an aluminum take out container for the face. Neither worked. No matter how much I tried to get the soda can to unroll, it wouldn't. I glued it to the blue fabric and weighed it down with a few heavy books and all that did was make the fabric curl up with the metal.

I tried burnishing the bottom of the aluminum container and I get couldn't get it totally smooth. What I did use was the lid of the container. It was white cardboard with a silver lining and of course I used the silver side. That worked out great, although anything I used to mark the face would wipe right off, so I sprayed it with a clear acrylic spray.

It was even hard to photograph. That turquoise and pink on the face are the reflections of my turquoise iPhone and my pink shirt.

Here are the true colors shot on my worktable, not head-on.

I used the pleated sides of the container for the short rays. I had sewn the face down about a quarter of an inch away from the edge. Then I was able to tuck the rays under the face to sew them down right next to the edge.

The wires were hand sewn on. The copper springs were hard to do since my thread kept getting caught in the wires. Same thing with the bronzy coils. I painted the eyes and lips with metallic powders mixed with acrylic medium, then more clear fixative on top.

All in all I am pleased with the results. I am all caught up and this is not due until the end of October because of the show my group is putting on. More about that in another post.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday. Go see what some talented people are up to.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Opening Night

Thursday night was the opening for Patterns at City Lights Gallery. I had shown you the postcard for the show here, featuring one of my quilts from the show. I was so pleased when I walked in. My big red quilt, Salsa City, was the first thing you saw when you walked in and the only piece on that wall. The lighting was fantastic and every stitch showed.

My second quilt, City Lights, was around the corner, also the only one on the wall and with the title of the show.

Quilt number three, Twilight City, again on its own wall.

I was the only quilt artist in the show. Gwen Hendrix, also worked in fiber, but not quilts.

Gwen had two large, one medium size and 3 small pieces in the show.

Tim Reimer made these fabulous paintings using spray paint and tape. They were multi layered and his sense of color was stunning. I really lusted after one of his smaller pieces, but my walls at home are full. He had several pantings there, but this one spoke to me.

These were also by Tim. He puts his wet canvas in the rain to get these raised dots then brings it in and adds more paint.

This phenomenal outdoor art was by Liz Squillace. The photo below shows her mockup and painting made prior to her installation. The staircase was right outside the gallery and was amazing.

It was a lovely opening with a nice sized crowd. I got to talk to some very interesting people and I had a lot of positive feedback. I was video taped, something I've never done before and Jane snapped a couple of shots of me giving my talk.

The show will be up util October 13. If you are in  the area, please stop in. The hours are on the card

I am linking up, a little late, with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Presidential Fabrications

As I said in a previous post, my FiberWorks group's theme for this year's show is Wild Fabrications, to be interpreted anyway we choose.....wild fabrics, wild animals, wild ideas, etc. I chose to use the definition of fabrication as a lie or untruth. Anyone who knows me knows how very unhappy I am with our present President. I was shocked that he was elected after all the venom and lies that spewed from his lips during the campaign and even more shocked that there are people who still support him. Every time I see him on television and listen to what he has to say, my stomach turns. I fear for our country with him at its helm.

I have no political affiliations. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I am not a sore loser who was disappointed that Hillary didn't get in. I am just so upset that he did.

It was quite cathartic for me able to make this quilt. I used quotes by several presidents that were lies or misrepresentations. Trump has the most on this quilt, but in all fairness I couldn't ignore some famous quotes by past presidents.

I printed the quotes onto chartreuse fabric and then fused those to three different green and black stripes or prints. I buttonholed all around them before the quilting was done. The quilting was done by free-motion quilting in the form of words or sentences. They ranged from the silly, such as "Liar, liar, pants on fire" or "It's a sin to tell a lie" to the more serious such as "One lie is enough to question all truths" or "Truth exists, only lies are invented".

Here are few details of the Presidential quotes and the quilting. If you click on each picture You will get a much bigger view.

I used a marking pen that I didn't know existed. It is Frixion, by Pilot. I drew all the guide lines using a yardstick and then wrote all my words. After the quilting the pen marks come out with just a touch of an iron. I was so glad that one of my FiberWorks friends told me about it. I was going to use a blue marker that comes out with water, but was afraid that some of my hand-dyes would run. 

I quilted it by rolling up the quilt from left to right and then unrolling it as I went along.

I took it to the ironing board after each line to re-roll it and start again.

So, tell me what you think. Have any of you made a political statement quilt?  This was my first.

I am linking up with "Off the Wall Friday".

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Nice Surprise

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my quilt was chosen for the cover art for the postcard for the invitational show I am in. I will have three quilts, all part of my Configuration, City series. This one, Configuration IV, Salsa City, has always been one of my favorites. It was originally made for a juried art quilt exhibit, "Town and Country", that premiered at the big show in Houston and then traveled for three years.
Bridgeport is only about an hour from me so I will be able to attend the opening on Sept. 7.  Stop by if you're in the area.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

In the Works

Lest you think I am frittering my time away, perhaps I am a bit, but I have been working on my Presidential Fabrications. I wrote about it here when my fabric choices turned out to be too pretty for the topic.
I had set aside this group of fabrics several years ago. I had parfait dyed the gray/orange fabric on the left and I don't know what colors I used to achieve it. I paired it with some Dupioni silks in grays and orange and there it sat waiting for this moment. I think the colors (hint, hint) are perfect for what I have to say. It is all pieced and just needs the quilting. The quilting is a big part of my "statement" so I don't want to show it until it is finished.
I promise to have it by next week. I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sun #9

My prompt for this month was to use a material or technique I had never used before. I had purchased this package of metallic mesh several years ago and it had been languishing on my shelf. Fortunately I was able to locate it. The piece had two finished edges and the other two edges were very loose and unravelly. I taped those edges with scotch tape and then pleated it, holding the pleats in place with fine pins and then sewed that to the background blue.

The face is made of ultra suede. I have a bin of odd pieces and this was the only color that was sun-like. I decided to give her a very feminine face since the rays are so girly. This was the only one where the face is not stitched. I did it all with permanent markers.

I'm linking up with Off The Wall Friday.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New work

You may remember awhile back that I dyed a couple of pieces of velvet when I was doing all those napkins. These were in pastels but the velvet pieces took the dye much differently and they were very vivid.

I knew that I wanted to use them in a quilt and then the perfect opportunity came up. My FiberWorks theme for this year's show is Wild Fabrications, to be interpreted any way we choose. I decided to use my wild fabrics and dye some more velvet to go along with it and make my quilt "Presidential Fabications" also know as LIES. 

I ice-dyed some more velvet using the same colors and although they were not quite the same, I thought they would all go together.

Pretty wild, hey? Pieces of my velvet just slapped up on my design wall. Those little strips of white were going to be lies told by presidents, not necessarily in that color or size. I thought I would do them in chartreuse. It has to be 30 inches square.

Then I started to piece it together and thought it really needed some other colors. Otherwise it looked like a big mishmash. As I added in the other colors, fuchsia and chartreuse from my hand dyed stash,  something terrible happened. It was looking PRETTY, not what I wanted for this quilt, so I stopped piecing and made it into a much smaller quilt. It's about 33" x 22".

I loved the texture that I achieved by quilting on the velvet. One of my friends said that I should put a sign near it that says "Please touch". It does feel scrumptious.

I free-motion quilted it all over with random flowers and leaves. I will give it a flowery name, perhaps Le Jardin.

Even the back is pretty. I had some of this ice-dyed fabric left over from another quilt.

My Presidential Fabrications is well under way and I used much more appropriate fabrics. I will post it when I am finished. 

I will be linking up with Off the Wall Friday. Please go see what some talented people are doing. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Using those napkins

You may recall that I dyed umpteen vintage napkins awhile ago. Last night one of my book clubs had its annual pot luck dinner. We read a book with recipes, usually a memoir, and then everyone makes something from the book. We always have it at my house because I have a big deck, perfect for alfresco dining. We hope for a good weather day and last night was absolutely perfect. Last year it was super hot and humid, so we ate inside and one year it rained.

I set up two tables and used the six vintage placemats that I had shibori dyed and paired them with some shibori napkins. I only had six of those placemats so the other table had purchased placemats with matching napkins. No picture of those.

I should have taken pictures of the food. It was a feast! Last night's book was "Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, a Marriage " by Molly Wizenberg. The book was pretty good but not the best that we had read, but it did have great recipes.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Worth the Wait

I am very fond of day lilies and think they are nearly the perfect perennial. They are very tolerant of any kind of soil, they spread into nice clumps, they are never bothered by disease or insects. The only bad thing about them is that they are deer candy, so I spray and spray to keep them away.

Last fall I ordered some new plants and had to wait patiently for them bloom this summer.

I'm still waiting for a couple of the late bloomers, but I love what has come up so far.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sun # 8

For this month I had to use something from a magazine, stitch on it and make it part of my piece. I kept putting it off because I really didn't know what to do. I decided to go through my magazines, hoping to get inspired and the very first one I picked from the magazine basket was this latest edition of Real Simple. Bonanza! I didn't have to look any further That orange slice was even the perfect size to fit an eight inch block.

I saturated a piece of white cotton with diluted acrylic medium then placed the copy of the picture (thinner paper) on top and saturated that. I let it dry overnight and cut it out the next day.

I had to make a very large face, bigger than any of my others, to cover all the print in the center of the slice. Actually I had cut it away, leaving a big hole. I used my favorite Dupioni silk and embroidered the face with free-motion machine satin stitching and went around the edges with machine buttonhole stitch.

I went over the edges with hand stitching, using three strands of embroidery floss and then made French knots around the outside.

Considering that I was dreading doing this one, it has turned out to be one of my favorites. I think he looks like an Egyptian sun god. I looked up Ra, the real Egyptian sun god and he looks nothing like mine, but I like him anyway.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, July 14, 2017

B is for....


A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a quilt I had made for my FANE group's alphabet exhibit. I was assigned the letter R and I did a rose.

There were a few letters left over after everyone got their assignment so I volunteered to do B, knowing how much fun I've had working with buttons before.

It measures 16" x 20". I had a lot of buttons left over from other projects, although I did buy a bag of assorted whites, knowing that I would use the most of those. No sewing involved here. I used Aleen's Fast Grab Tacky Glue and I think those buttons are on there forever (at least I hope they are). My fabric was all fused onto a heavyduty Peltex, an interfacing.

It's a little hard to tell in the picture, but the B is also covered in buttons.

In between the rows of buttons I stamped fabric with a stamp I had made from a "Magic Sponge". It is a dense synthetic material that is used by heating it up with an iron (after covering the surface with parchment paper) then pressing down hard onto the items you want your stamp to be, in this case of course it was buttons. Naturally I finished the edges with a button hole stitch. 

This was used many times and now is covered with dried ink. No problem, it still can be used many times.

For the back I used the stamp over and over to make a new fabric. The sleeve was stamped with a different one that  made from a long narrow piece of dense synthetic. 

I would recommend clicking on the pictures for a much bigger view that allows you see the variety of buttons.

I am lining up again with Off the Wall Friday. Hop on over and leave a comment. We all love comments. Me, too!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Shibori Napkins, again

For this past Fourth of July weekend we had absolutely perfect weather....temps in the high 70's or low 80's with plenty of sun and no humidity. So what did I do? I  spent most of the time indoors dyeing more vintage napkins and loving every minute.

This first set of ten linen napkins were given to me by my friend, Sheila. They were so stiffly starched that they could stand up by themselves. Of course I washed out all that starch. I sewed each napkin into a tube and scrunched them down onto a PVC pipe. There is a lovely embroidery, open work motif in each corner. These are luncheon size.

I found the next set on a bargain table at Home Goods. They were sold individually and I was able to pick up eight with a silver "S" embroidered. I knew the silver thread would not take the dye. They were very cheap inexpensive, made in India and a rather coarse cotton. I used different folding and clamping methods on each one. They are dinner size.

All of the rest were given to me by my friend, Carole, who brought them to me at a FANE meeting in a big plastic garbage bag. When I got them home I sorted them out on the dining room table to put them into sets. Thank you, Carole!

This set of five were accordion pleated and tied tightly at intervals with string.

This set was sewn into tubes and scrunched onto PVC pipes.

These luncheon sized ones were folded and clamped with different shapes. I don't know why these look so purple. They are the same blue as the rest. I used ProChem Navy 412, fiber reactive dye.

This last set and the one before were done in day old dye. I had made three big kitty litter pails of dye. After the first day of dyeing I couldn't bear to throw it all out so I added some more soda ash and salt and added my fabric. They came out a lighter blue but I still like them. This set of very large dinner napkins were rolled onto PVC pipes, then wrapped with string and scrunched them down. You get finer lines this way. They are also incredibly soft. When I showed them to my fiber group today, they said they could even be used as scarves. I have four more of these, but I was pooped by that time and perhaps I'll do them another day.

I am DONE with napkins for now. With what I dyed the last time and this time I have over 80 blue shibori napkins (I also have those pretty pink ones). I was planning on having a Fourth of July party and wanted to use them then, but my floor refinishing got in the way and I did not have the party. Maybe next year or maybe at the end of the summer. I will surely give some of them away. I know my sister is eyeing them, since she also loves blue.

Oh, yes, I did get to go to a lovey small dinner party at my friend, Claire's on Tuesday. We ate outside on her pretty deck, enjoying the perfect weather, Margaritas and delicious food.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday. Go see what some very talented people are doing.