Thursday, July 28, 2016

All the news that's fit to print...

I know that I haven't posted anything from my studio in awhile, but I have been busy and driving myself crazy with this little piece. My FiberWorks challenge for this year is At The Library. Since we show these fiber art pieces (we are not all quilters) we thought it would be appropriate to have this theme this year.

I was drawing a total blank as to what to do. My drawing skills are terrible and I really prefer to make abstract quilts. What could I do that would be in my comfort zone and still interpret the theme. On one of my morning walks (where I do some of my best thinking) it came to me, the old joke, What's Black and White and Red All Over? Well, yes, you could say a zebra with a nosebleed, but my answer was The Newspaper! Aha, something I could do in my style.

I had a false start with another style and I will show you that when the quilting is finished because it will go on the back. This piece incorporates a lot of fine line piecing, ala Kathie Loomis. I have done a fair amount of this in other small quilts and loved doing that tedious, fiddly piecing, but I had always done them on diagonal angles, as in these four pieces.

 This time I wanted the piecing to be more or less in a grid. It didn't have to be perfect, but I did want the sections to have some semblance of being perpendicular to each other. I have never done so much unstitching and doing over as I did with this piece. Distortion seemed to be the rule. Not sure why, but I did make me nuts.

The piece is only 24" x 30", the required size. First I had to make all my fabric by copying sheets of the newspaper onto white fabric. I chose different sections of the paper such as the comics, TV guide, sports scores and the news. The newspaper banners were all found on line and printed out in different sizes. I can't remember the last time I put a border on a quilt, but this called for one.

I had fun with the banners. Don't  you love the Paris News with its Eiffel Tower with the red hat on top?

I purposefully made the sections go every which way. I wanted to use the print as texture and thought it was more interesting that way. I will quilt it in straight parallel lines in a pale grey thread.

I'll show it again when I finish the quilting. First I have to piece the back out of my first attempt and some of the banners that I didn't use.

Linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Taken from my front porch last night.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tiny Surprise

If you've followed my blog, you may recall my fondness for succulents. I love the wide variety of color and texture and their ease of care, but most people who grow them don't grow them for their flowers, which are few and far between. So I was surprised to see this charming little daisy-like flower on one of the plants.

It was on a plant in a pot of plants that I was trying to root and apparently they are rooting just fine.

You can see from this pictures that it is a mish-mash of plants, none of them very attractive right now and yet this little flower did its best to spruce things up.

In this container of more established plants you can see a larger version of that same plant on the far right.

Here's a close-up of it looking a lot like pipe organs to me with their hollowed out tips. I have never had one of these bloom before and wonder why the scraggly little new one did. One of those mysteries of nature, but I will take what I can get.

We're having very hot weather here in the North East and I am so grateful for my AC. I do any gardening or walking early in the morning before it gets too steamy, but hey, it's summer and before we know it we'll be complaining about the snow.

Happy Summer!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Last week several members of the CT Surface Design Association were invited to the studio of Helena Hernmark, world famous tapestry weaver. Go to her website to read all about her. Her studio in Ridgefield, CT is set among eighteen acres of bucolic countryside. I had been to a lecture given by her last year and was anticipating seeing her studio. Well, it was breathtaking and my pictures don't do it justice.

One whole wall of her three story high studio is covered wth the big cubbies filled with yarn from floor to ceiling. Note the ladder that allows her to reach to top cubbies. It was impossible for my camera to see the while thing.

Another  view of part of the wall with two of her larger looms. Most of her work is done for site specific installations. You can see one of hers on her website that is over 41 feet long that was installed on a curved wall. Her pieces sell for the many, many thousands of dollars and seeing them up close and personal, I can see why.

Two of her work tables with selected yarns and a view of one of her smaller looms in the distance.

Most of her work is representational. This is a small work at the end of her studio. 

Another of her "smaller" works, small being may three feet by five feet.

A view through the screen at the rear door of the studio.

After spending about an hour and a half in the studio with her explaining how she works, showing us
some of her smaller pieces and answering many questions, she asked if we would like to see the house.Wow! An extra treat! She and her late husband were born in Sweden and the house is Swedish modern, lost of blond wood in floors and trim with large windows and skylights. A very beautiful, livable home. All the rooms had gorgeous rugs woven by her.

The tapestry above was made for their dining room, but now it resides above the well-worn and loved leather couch. Her late husband, Niels Different, was the designer of high end office chairs that are amazingly comfortable. She had several throughout the house and studio and we sampled quite a few.

It was a delightful afternoon that was very inspiring. Several of the women in the group are weavers. I am not, but it didn't keep me from appreciating what I saw.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Rockettes at Macy's Fireworks

I've mentioned before that my great niece is a Rockette. She was chosen to dance before the Macy's fireworks display on the 4th. I loved the dance and thought it looked so complicated. She is the first one on the left when they start and the last one on the right when it ends. They are doing one of the numbers from the summer show, Welcome to New York.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Midnight City

Yet another challenge to do for FANE (Fiber Artists of the North East). This one has to be a building and the rules are as follows"
Your piece for our Skyline Exhibit is due at the August meeting also.  Again, here are the guidelines:
    1. Width between 14” and 18”
    2. Height between 36” and 60”
    3. Building may be realistic or abstract
   4. No background
    5. Needs to hang with one nail
    6. Needs to have fiber, does not need to be quilted or have 3 layers, would be nice to have some stitching.

I have done a series of city quilts and most of them are quite large and squarish. This one had to be tall and skinny so I used one of the smaller city quilts that I had made as a guide and just made it much taller.

All of my city quilts had an insane amount of piecing and quilting. I decided to go a little easier on myself and not do all the piecing, but fuse instead. I'm not sure how much time that saved because I had to fuse all those little windows down. It did make for easier quilting, altho I did a lot of quilting, because I didn't have to deal with quilting around all those seams. 

You can see more of my city quilts by going to the "Geometric Quilts" at the top of this blog.

"Midnight City" It really is squared off at the bottom. It is just coming out from the wall.  Details below. It measures 17 x 47. All of my previous city quilts have used only my hand dyed fabrics, but for this one I also used some commercial prints. I quilted it onto batting with no backing and then fused it onto Peltex, a very stiff interfacing that I use when I make fabric postcards. It will keep it rigid and will keep that little building at the top nice and straight. I went around the edges with a button hole stitch in silver thread.

I quilted it with silver metallic thread and it sparkles under the light.

City Lights. Made for a "Grey Plus One" challenge a few years ago. It measures 17" x 24".

You can see all the piecing and quilting here.

So that's one more thing to be taken of my list of things to do. My next project is for my FiberWorks group. The theme is "At the Library" and I am totally bereft of ideas. It is due in September.

It's been a long time since I've had any fiber art to share, so I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hooray for the red, white and blue!

I had a little gathering (18 people) at my house to celebrate the Fourth. There was a plethera of red, white and blue worn by the guests and in my decor. Friends brought appetizers and I provided the main course and wine and Claire brought dessert. It was an absolutely perfect weather evening and everyone was able to eat outside on the deck.

Appetizers in the dining room.

Love that shirt!

Even the sunset cooperated. A perfect ending to the day.