Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Day of Contrasts

I went into NYC with my friend, Mickie, and our goal was two-fold. We took the train in and allowed ourselves plenty of time to walk to St. Patrick's Cathedral. We wanted to see the results of the extensive renovation and restoration that had been going on for 3 1/2 years.

The last time I had been to St.Pat's, although beautiful, it had been so dark and gloomy inside. No more! Who knew that all that white was hiding under years of grime. We went to the 10:15 Mass because that is the one that has the choir singing and they were impressive. We are both practicing Catholics so we were so honored to receive Communion from Archbishop Dolan.

 Although not the largest Catholic church in the country (that one is in Washington, DC.) it is probably the most visited and well known. No matter what your faith, if you are ever in NYC, treat yourself to a visit to this magnificent cathedral. All are welcome.  To see more pictures and learn more about the restoration, go to their website here.

The second part of our Sunday, after lunch, was seeing The Book Of Mormon, the highly irreverent play that pokes fun at everybody. We jokingly said that we got our dispensation at Church to see this naughty show. We thoroughly enjoyed it and laughed our heads off.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Work

Remember all those surface design pieces I was making, well here I got to put a lot of them together into a quilt top. Every piece of fabric here started out as white and then had at least two things done to it. All the fabric was hand-dyed and then was either stamped, painted, batiked with soy wax and dye paint, or bleach discharged.  Some had four things done to them.

Exception: Those narrow pink strips are purchased Dupioni silk and the narrow rust strips are unadulterated hand-dyes of mine.

The quilt photographs a little darker that it actually is. I fiddled with the lighting, but that didn't help.

It measures about 32" x 44", a nice size for quilting. I'm looking forward to the quilting, but that will have to wait awhile.
I'm linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, February 15, 2016


I really am having fun with this surface design I have been doing. I will show you here one fabric's transformation.

This was a hand dyed piece on which I put soy wax with a natural sponge.

After I applied thickened dye, Deep Purple, batched it and washed it.

After I used a Bleach Pen with a circular stencil. It's hard to see the stencil design here and I only used sections of it. It bleached the purple to pink and the orange to white. I love it!

This went into a piece I made this weekend and I'll show you that next. Please come back.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More Surface Design

We had another snowy day here where all plans were cancelled. It seems like February is making up for the mild winter we had up to now. So I did a little playing with surface design, mostly stamping.
These were very easy techniques and you may be very familiar with them, but maybe not, so I am showing them here.

This is a dense foam block, made specifically for this purpose. You heat the block either with a heat gun, which I do not have, or an iron. I covered the block with parchment paper then put a hot iron on it for several seconds, then immediately pressed the back onto some objects that have been placed on a hard surface. Of course this was buttons.

I used a red ink pad, the only one I had that wasn't dried up, so you will see red ink on all of these blocks. It was printed on light blue fabric. I think I want to make some note cards using this stamp.

On the other side of the block I used those big quilting pins with the big yellow heads.

I really liked these results. The first one was on turquoise fabric and the second on a mottled pastel print.

One of the cool things about these blocks is that you can reheat them and the impressions will disappear and you can do a different design.

I have some dense foam children's building books that can be used this way, too. However none of them give a very big surface, so I just did this one with paper clips.

I am trying to put together a quilt using one of the soy wax resist pieces I showed you last week so I did some more printing with that end in view.

Here I made a stamp by wrapping rubber bands onto a stamp with a wooden base. I've done this before and like the results. I brushed white acrylic paint onto the band with a foam brush.

You can see a bit of that piece I am working with. The greens are a great match. It was from my hand-dyed stash.

This was also made with a rubber band stamp, but I ran the bands vertically on a long oblong block. I was less happy with this one. I don't like the bright white blobs. They show up more in person.

This was done with bubble wrap. I paint the wrap with white paint and then press it down onto the fabric. I also tried using big bubble wrap, but that was not successful. I just got very indistinct blobs.

This is another one that I think will go with my piece. It is a color grabber sheet, the kind you put in the wash to grab any colors that might get onto your light colors. I try to remember to put one in the washing machine when I am washing my hand-dyes. I have a nice pile of them in many colors and I had two pinks that look good with my piece. I stamped them with a commercial "O" block.

Now I'm going to see how these pieces will work together. Stay tuned.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Snowy surprise

Yesterday was my birthday. I won't say how old, but pretty darn old. Being a February birthday has its drawbacks. It is usually a crummy day, snowy, sleety, cold, but yesterday was a delightful surprise. Typical of the mild winter we are having in here Northeast, it was in the 50's and sunny, a lovely day.
Well, we made up for it today. We had a surprise storm that dumped 6-8 inches.It was coming down fast and furious for awhile, especially in the morning, so all the schools were closed and our weekly FiberWorks meeting was also cancelled.

I decided to spend the time that I would have been at the meeting in my studio. I am going to the SAQA conference in April and one of the highlights of the Friday night banquet is the Silent Auction.
I had never made a piece for it before and thought that today would be the perfect day to get one done. They have to be 6" x 8" and will be mounted in a mat with a 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" opening and then put in a cellophane sleeve.. I thought that one of my Garden Studies would be perfect. I went online to get all the info and the deadline for entering is tomorrow. Yikes! Better get busy.

This is what I came up with. Sunflower. I hope these bright happy colors will catch someone's eye.

I make these Garden Studies by using photos that I have taken in my garden, digitally altering them in Photoshop Elements, printing them on white fabric and then machine free-motion quilting.  

Since it's Friday, I am inking up with Off the Wall Friday. Hop on over and see some other art work.