Saturday, May 30, 2009

MIxed Media with Jane

I'm taking "Mixed Media with Paper and Cloth" with Jane LaFazio, online at Joggles right now, so here are some pictures of my first week's homework (they're supposed to be backgrounds, so maybe I went a bit overboard with the stamps):

Friday, May 29, 2009

Creative Twist classes in June and August

By popular demand, I will be teaching you to create a water quilt, like mine, although you can take your own creative detour whenever you like, and end up with a more personal quilt. The dates for this class are June 9 and August 11, from 10am -2 or 3pm at Fresh Air Farm in Woodinville, WA, just up the hill from Gathering Fabric quilt shop. Please register for classes at Gathering Fabric. The current Creative Twist class schedule can be found on my website.

In the June class, we will do free hand piecing, making Angelina sheets, fabric / fiber collage, choosing / applying a layer of netting, as well as a bit of quilting. (There are 2 months between the first and second part to give everyone time to piece, collage, and quilt their project, even if they will be busy during the summer. )

The August class will repeat quilting the layers, making the 3D waves, beading, and finishing the edges. (At a minimum, you should have the quilt top complete before the second class, so you will be able to determine what size to make your waves.)

Even though this project is split into 2 classes, the Creative Twist classes are meant to be technique classes, so if you are only interested in the techniques covered by one of the lessons, or can't make it to both, feel free to sign up for just one, and email or comment if you have any questions.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Helena Baby Sweater

It's been years since I knew anyone that was having a baby, but this year there are three, and all are expecting girls. The Baby Surprise jacket was finished for the first, and this sweet Helena sweater is in progress for the next.


I've been asked what I use to spin yarn with, so thought I'd take some pictures to share, along with a short explanation. When I first tried to spin, I used a spindle. It was much larger, and heavier than the one below, and I wasn't really able to spin much at all. So after some online research, off to Weaving Works I went to see about a wheel. I purchased a Lendrum, and after a bit of reading, watching some videos, I was spinning! Of course, a wheel isn't nearly as portable as a spindle, and so I keep revisiting spindling, purchased a few other spindles, and yesterday, thanks to an employee at the Weaving Works who was spindling, I finally found out that I needed to draft differently (Aha!). Now I'm still a beginner, but making progress!

The colorful spindle is one of two lightweight spindles I purchased from Grafton Fibers, and so far I think they are my favorites!

Here's my Lendrum wheel. I'm currently plying some mixed fiber from Tactile Fiber Arts that is gorgeous! Of course, I will need to decide what I'm making when it is finished.

(edited to add links)

Knitting Progress

During my trip to PA, I managed to do quite a bit of knitting, because I did a lot of sitting in planes, cars, and while watching TV in the evenings and visiting with my dad.

The Back to Basics socks are now finished!
Before I left, I cast on this Leyburn sock, because I can't just sit, I need to work on something. Of course, I didn't think I'd get as far as I did - one sock was mostly finished on that trip, but was finished up on a road trip after returning, and the second sock is now in progress.

Just to make sure I wouldn't run out of socks to work on, I took along these roller coaster socks from Sockamania. They could have been done by now, but
had been cast onto double pointed needles which aren't as portable as the two circulars that I usually use, so had to wait for me to purchase another set. At least now I have one done, and the second in progress (and they can now go in my purse when the Leyburn socks are finished).

Monday, May 18, 2009

A little inspiration

Just a few quick pictures from my dad's backyard:

It always amazes me when I see flowers growing in the most difficult areas, yet refuse to grow in others.

There is a whole patch of lily of the valley, tiny pansies and violets. Aren't these beautiful!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Visiting Pennsylvania

My visit back East wasn't all fun and games, but I did manage to have a little fun and visit with family that I haven't seen for ages.

My dad took me on a personal tour of the Maritime Museum in Erie, PA, and this is the Niagara, a tall ship that took part in the war of 1812, in Lake Erie. Inside, they even have exhibits that you can learn how the cannons and sails work, as well as how to tie knots, and lots of other interesting items, pictures and videos.

Here's Dad, explaining all about the ship's bell.

From left to right: Me, Mindy, Dad, and Megan. I haven't seen my sisters for years and years, as they haven't always been able to get together when I've been back to PA to visit, but now I have a picture of us with our dad!

And the man in the blue shirt is Mindy's Rick, he's very nice, and I'm happy they have found each other.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quilt for Donnie / Checkerboard Stars Pictures

I'm back from a trip to visit my family in Pennsylvania, but while I was there, I remembered to take pictures of the quilt I made for my stepmother Donnie.

Since it doesn't have a sleeve, it was more difficult to photograph, but I did the best I could. (I wanted to post the quilt label, but am still looking for the file, and will have to post it when it is found.)
The quilt is an enlarged version of my Checkerboard Stars pattern. Instead of 9 blocks, there are 12.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Rubber Stamped Quilt Tops

I thought I should post a few of these quilts-to-be while they are in progress:
I happen to like some of the rubber stamped fabrics just the way they were, so decided that they would be given simple frames. They were fused to another hand-dyed fabric from my stash (and now I'm finding that I really need more greens and darks, and hoping to have time for fabric dyeing soon).

The quilt above is from a previous post, with another stamp added. Once these simple quilts are quilted, they will be trimmed to size, edges finished, and embellishments (if any) added.

When I was looking around the studio, I came across this early piece of soy silk paper. It was one of my early attempts, and was not hung up to dry. The result was the back having a slightly tacky, and definitely paint feeling back, which decided to crumple and stick to itself. I thought it was just the thing to put between my stamped heart and the yellow background. When I quilt and embellish this one, I plan to use golden beads or threads to help the stamped design play better with the brighter background.

These two pieces had been stamped on the same piece of fabric, but I didn't like the arrangement. Once they were separated, and the excess fabric torn away, I liked the simple, somehow comforting way it looks (quite a difference from the bold heart design).

For some reason, I just had to use that piece of Angelina Fiber in this piece. I really liked it --- until I had it all fused and stepped back. I still love everything other than the way that Angelina Fiber is jumping out, and will have to find a way to remedy the situation (unfortunately, it is all fused in place, and the border of the bird is a piece of hand made soy silk paper, so it may be really dificult to remove - maybe I'll need to experiment with those alcohol inks I have, or something else - at least I have some extra Angelina to experiment on).
Some of these were basted last night, so off to get some quilting done......

Home and Studio Construction - update

Our narrow, driveway used to bend around a raised garden in the area that is now dirt, but we had drainage and other issues we are trying to fix, so needed to make some changes. We also had wooden steps going up to meet the upper part of the drive, which were so decayed, they were dangerous and also needed to be removed. So.... the garden area is currently gone, a new retaining wall put in place, and the drive will be widened, with the garden shrinking a bit. In the end, it will be much nicer than before, but a mess right now.

Inside, we have painted walls! This is major progress, as we can see that the finish work has begun. Upstairs, the wood floors have been installed, and here the stairs are still in progress. Because of the cement slab, we can't have hardwood floors downstairs, but will have a combination of tile and carpet, although my studio is going to have a cork floor, so it will be nicer to stand and work.

My husband and I checked out my studio, with it's newly painted walls. they have a couple of the flourescent lights installed, so I'm sure the rest will follow shortly. I'm really looking forward to the house being finished, but there is still a lot of work to be done - you know, simple things like doors, built-ins like the kitchen and bathrooms. Right now it's an empty shell that is just beginning to hint at what it will look like when it is finished.

Back to Basics Socks - progress

The past two days have seen too many hours on the road. The good news is that I managed to finish the first sock.

Not only that, but I've also made considerable progress on the second sock, which is already up to the point of starting the arch increases!
Now just in case you have been wondering about the pattern and yarn, the pattern is Back to Basics, from Knitty, and the yarn is Lorna's Hand-Dyed Yarns, Shepard Sock, in color #504 Lakeview.

Baby Surprise Jacket - finished!!!

Yep, it's finally finished! Although I had seriously wanted to add a hood, after several tries, and finally realizing that there would be no way for me to put orange and white trim around the face, I decided I would try a simple crochet edge, and am happy with the way it turned out.

I almost gave it without taking a finished picture (been there, done that), but remembered in time, and was able to unwrap, snap a few pics, and re-wrap in time to deliver it. Lucky for me the baby is late, otherwise the sweater would have been late.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Carving and Stamping

The past few days have seen a lot of stamp carving and fabric printing! Thursday, I will be speaking at Block Party Quilters Club in Samammish, WA, and I'm doing all I can to prepare. It will be my first Power Point presentation, so I'm a bit nervous, but trying to busy myself by making new samples. The lecture title is Embellishing and Special Touches, but they have asked me to focus on my fusion quilts and rubber stamping, so those will be covered in depth, with stepped out pictures, and lots of explanation. Of course, at the end, eveyrone will be able to ask questions too.