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. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Gingerbread Cottages

As I said in my last post, Martha's Vineyard is famous for its incredible gingerbread cottages.  These houses were originally tents, very fancy tents, occupied by members of the Methodist Church in the mid 1800's. They would come to Oak Bluff for religious retreats and after awhile houses were build on the same tent sites. They really are amazing. Apparently one church member tried to outdo the others in paint color and trim.

Here are just a few.There are over 300 of them. Feast your eyes on these treasures and if you do ever go to Martha's Vineyard, be sure to see them.

Click on the pictures for a much bigger view, showing the amazing attention to detail.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Hydrangea Heaven

Last week I spent a fabulous week on Martha's Vineyard, an island off the coast of Cape Cod, MA, with my sister and five other friends. Seven of us in a wonderful old house originally built in 1840 and added onto over the years. The house had six bedrooms and four bathrooms and was utterly charming. The interior walls were all white beadboard and the floors were mostly painted hardwood in various shades of blue and green (my colors). The owner had hand painted a lot of the furniture and I was so enamored.

Check out the fish knobs! They were also on the cupboard doors in the kitchen.

This was just a small sampling. I thought of you, Maggie, and your scrumptious painted furniture.  There were quilts on all the beds and little touches everywhere. It had a front porch that was wide and deep with lots of comfy furniture, perfect for sipping wine or reading a book or just enjoying the ambience. The kitchen was big enough for all seven of us to be working in and an ample dining room that could have fit many more.

The weather is there is so friendly to flowers and they were EVERYWHERE! Especially hydrangea and roses.

The weather was very conducive to our plans of touring, eating, shopping and beaching. The weather back home was not very good so we considered ourselves lucky.

Come back and I will show you some pictures of the incredible gingerbread cottages, for which the Vineyard is famous.

Happy Fourth of July!

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 lamė, 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.