Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fine Art and Flowers

Last week I took a trip to the Wadsworth Antheneum in Hartford, CT to see their annual exhibit of "Fine Art and Flowers". It's a fabulous museum with an extensive permanent collection. For this exhibit over 60 paintings throughout the museum were interpreted in flowers by many different floral arrangers. Some were done by a group, some individually. I learned later by talking to one of the arrangers that when the artists volunteer to do it, they are assigned a painting, no choice involved. This could be very challenging, since every genre of art was involved, from Old Masters to modern art.
Unfortunately my battery died after only a few pictures. Some of my favorite ones were of the modern art (there was a super Jackson Pollack), but my camera conked out before that. Click on each picture for a bigger view.

I think the arranger captured the feeling of this picture perfectly.....the drift wood, the pine branches, the clouds, the rush of the wind.

This stone cherub is so cunning and sweet and I think the arranger nailed it.

The colors and shape of this arrangement follow the picture so well, so serene and peaceful, and it stands alone beautifully, as you can see below.

I wish that I had write down the names of the artists.  I did some flower arranging in a past life. This made me think that I should have kept it up.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mountain Laurel Quilter's Guild Show

I was encouraged to enter a small local quilt guild's show, since they needed entries. It was a nice show and I was very pleased to get two ribbons out of the three quilts I entered.

I got a First Place in the Wall Quilt division with Fiesta. It is made entirely out of my hand dyed fabrics and has extensive free motion machine quilting in many different designs.  Click on each picture for a bigger view.

I got a Second Place in the Art Quilt division for Fern Dance II. Also hand-dyed fabrics, the ferns are free motion satin stitched around the edges and fern designs are free motion quilted in the background.

I didn't get anything for this one, Razzle Dazzle. I made it a few years ago for a song title challenge. It was adapted from a pattern in Quilter's Newsletter and was paper pieced. Lots of FM quilting and a little beading.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Dyeing

Yesterday was the second day of Ann Johnston's two day workshop and these are some of my favorites from that class. As I said in my last post, I was trying to get more than one color on a piece and that's what I concentrated on today.

I think that this looks like a land mass with water to the right. My private country?

This was achieved by wrapping the fabric around a smooth rope (thanks to Benedicte), then bunching it up and rubber banding it. Then green and blue dyes were poured over.

I twisted the fabric on the diagonal and applied pink at one end and yellow at the other.

The fabric was accordion pleated two ways, then clamped with a heavy duty clamp and the edges of the folded fabric were dipped in the dye.

The fabric was put down flat, then slightly scrunched and different shades of green were dribbled on.

This is the result of accordion pleating fabric and putting clothes pins along one edge and standing it up in the dye bath.

Ann gave us a demonstration of dye painting and mono printing with thickened dyes. It was VERY interesting and she had some great quilts to show us using that method. I will definitely want to try that. I had lots of prepared dye left over that I brought home. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, so I will have to spend some more time on this.

Ann was a great teacher! I bought one of her books, "Color by Design". I'm sure I will have fun "working" (more like playing) my way through it.

Oh, yes, the repair man came this morning and my washing machine is back in business. Hooray!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dyeing Class

I'm taking a two day workshop with Ann Johnston. I've done a lot of dying in the past several years, but Ann uses a very different method that I am used to. Hers is a low water immersion with urea and soda ash. I have never been very successful in having more than one color in one piece of fabric and that is what I was interested in learning. These are just a few of the pieces I dyed today.

These three colors were dyed in the same little container. I used diluted solutions of red, yellow and green. Ann calls these "parfaits". They are actually lighter in person and rather yummy. If I hadn't been so tired tonight, I would have dragged out my tripod and got clearer pictures.

This fabric was bunched up and banded with rubber bands and dyed blue. After several minutes, I unwrapped it, banded it again and added red to the same container.

This is a color gradation, using the same color green, but with dilutions throughout.

This is another "parfait" with stronger colors. I know that I started with yellow in this one, then added green and red.

We brought all our dyed fabric home (I didn't show it all) and then had to wash it, best done in a washing machine. Well, guess what? My machine decided to pick today to DIE with all the half washed fabric in it. I had to haul it out and rinse and rinse and wash and wash and rinse and rinse BY HAND. I felt like a pioneer. Since my class is all day tomorrow, I 'll have to wait and see if I can get a repair man here on Tuesday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I ordered some small plastic bags and a few beads from Robin Atkins and was pleasantly surprised to see them wrapped in this lovely dragonfly tissue paper.  Isn't it pretty? I hope I can find a way to incorporate it into a quilt.

It's such a nice day today here in CT.  It's sunny and warm, but not hot.  Just perfect for this time of year.  It makes up for the snow flurries we had yesterday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Slow Going

For one reason or another I haven't had time to do much sewing in the last week. I went to Lancaster over the weekend to see the Quilter's Heritage show and visit the Northern Star Quilter's Guild challenge, Going Green, where it was displayed. I'm having work done on my house and I'm in a bit of an upheaval although that's no excuse for not sewing.

I did manage to piece together some more of these skinny wiggly things. These four sections are just put up side by side with no piecing. They only cover an area of about 12 x 18, so I either have lots more to do, or put something else with them. I may do both.