Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm doing a little spinning

between everything else, and for the first time, it is a multicolor dyed wool top. This one is made by Louet, and is called Northern Lights, and I'm finding it very easy to spin, even though I'm a beginner, having started spinning this past spring. I loosened / untangled the wool tops into a plastic bag, and am continuously spinning out of the bag. When I stop, I can wind the end of the spun yarn around the knob on my orifice hook, to hold it in place, and then come back and pick up where I left off.
While my first thought was that it was going to be too bold and splotchy - it's coming out downright gorgeous! I love the color, and am hoping it will be enough to make a hat, scarf, or maybe even small shawl??? The package said I have 1/ 2 pound of wool top, and I'm spinning as fine as I dare to (maybe it will be a fine fingering weight?), but I'll just have to be patient and wait and see.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Carving rubber stamps

is so much fun! For some reason, I just needed to carve some leaves, so I carved large leaves on both sides of a smaller carving block, and stems with leaves on both sides of a larger carving block. I did a little test printing, and I like the way they came out!

Above is a picture of one side of the carved blocks (they are resting on my drying board, since they were still wet from rinsing, and below is the other side.

Of course, I had to do some test prints to see what they would really look like when I use them to print with, so I tried them out in my journal.

I think I might like to carve away the remaining background in the leafy branches on the right, but the leafy branch on the right is ok.

My yellow journal pages had already been colored with watercolor paints, which I had pressed plastic wrap into. After it was mostly dry, and the color would stay put, the plastic wrap was removed so that it could finish drying. I woner what I have that could be used to finish the page?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chickadee for Michelle

Now that Michelle has received my little chickadee journal quilt, here it is. The background was made by free hand cutting branches and leaves, then attach them to the background fabric and batting with large embroidery stitches. The backing was pieced where the sleeve would cover most of it, leaving the center unstitched so that I would be able to turn it right sides out later. Then it was layered, right sides together, and stitched around the outer edges, trimmed and turned. The quilting was completed next, because it was easier at that time. Once the chickadee was hand painted onto white fabric and appliqued onto the quilt, I decided where and how large the ribbon nest should be, and then the ribbons were tacked into place with beads. There are three buttons for eggs because the chickadee will have three children just like I do.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Balloon landed

right in front of our yard just a few minutes ago! Now that is something very rare, although in the 11 years we have lived in this house we have had one land a block in one direction, a block in the other, and some that have passed over our trees low enough to touch the tops. Once they touched down, they were considering whether to drag it to the cul-de-sac or into our yard to flatten and pack it up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My quilt is going to Houston!

After returning from picking up my quilt from APNQ Quiltfest in Seattle this afternoon, I collected my mail from the mail box and quickly scanned for envelopes from Houston. I had entered two quilts, and only saw one small envelope. As I was preparing myself to read a rejection notice, I decided to sort the rest of the mail first, and at the bottom was a large envelope from Houston! My small Gilded Scrolls quilt was rejected, but Janet's Influence had been accepted into the IQA Quilts: A World of Beauty show!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Water - sketchbook

These are some of the shapes I'm thinking about stitching on the water quilt to represent plankton, which is a key source of food for aquatic life in fresh and salt water. Some of the organisms spend their entire life at this microscopic size, while others eventually grow into sea stars, sea urchins, fish and other sea creatures.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Water - today's progress

My lace is dry, and as you can see, it looks much different than it did on the stabilizer. It has also done a bit of shrinking, as I knew it would.

The waves have much more dimension with the lacy waves laid in place, and they have been pinned down, until I get them stitched. My plan is to only attach them along the top edges, leaving the lower edges free, and the lowermost wave will have it's edge folded out of the way when the edges are being finished. Right now, I think I'll face the edges, leaving the quilted back showing, and nice clean edges on the front, because I think that a traditional binding would be out of place on this quilt.

As soon as I get a chance, I'll do some free hand cutting and free motion lace so that you can see how they were created. It probably won't happen until next week, as the APNQ Quiltfest is this week, and preview night is tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm also installing the new software that was needed to continue creating my website.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Water - progress

The quilting is finished, mostly swirls and wavy stitching, and you can see it more clearly on the back:
However, there's more to come, and I've made some free motion lace on water soluble stabilizer to add to the waves. Another layer, more depth...
The stabilizer has been washed out, and the lace is drying, and then I'll place it on top and see if I still like the idea. I'm still thinking of adding some hand embroidery stitches and beads, but only time will tell.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Blue Background - water

So far, I've added more layers and begun the quilting process. The shiny areas are angelina fibers that were ironed into sheets, and then I tore them to make the wave edges. The lightest areas are cheesecloth that I washed to give it texture, and there is also some glitter dotted net. The whole quilt has been covered with navy netting to hold all those loose edges in place. Once the quilting is finished, I'm thinking of adding hand embroidery, beading, and maybe some lace.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

BluE Background instructions

Judy asked how the blue background was pieced, and the answer is free hand cutting and sewing. Below, I'll describe the method, and if I have time this week, I'll post some in progress pictures of some other strips being pieced so that you can see how it was done.

Sometimes I roughly cut strips of fabric, then made a wavy cut across the doubled fabric. If one strip was longer than the other, I clipped into the longer one at the top of the shorter one. After removing the extra, overlapping fabric, the strips were flipped right sides together and carefully stitched. The stitching is slower than straight seams, as you need to keep matching up the fabric edges, but I just try to keep gently aligning them as I sew, and stopping when necessary. The seams in this quilt were almost all pressed towards the darker fabric, but if I was to cut deeper curves, I'd press in the direction that the seam wanted to go.

After quite a few strips were together, I laid it out and stood back to see where I needed to add more, or adjust the color. Wherever I wanted to insert another strip, I made a wavy cut. Since there are now two cuts that need another fabric inserted between, the wavy strip was just laid on top of the fabric that I wanted to insert, and I carefully cut along the raw edge to match it. Once that new seam was sewn, the new strip was placed under the remaining wavy cut, and another matching cut was made.