Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

A chance for us to remember those who have given so much for us! It's also a day to remember those who have served, and are currently serving. THANK YOU!!!

Very Old UFO - in progress

It's about time!

This baggie full of cut fabrics, complete with pattern and templates, has been hanging around my studio for a LONG time! I checked the publication date on the pattern, and it's 1992, and it's highly probable that it was purchased close to the publication date, and then cut from my scraps, and set aside. Some of you have asked how I end up with so many UFOs, and how then end up staying for so long. Well, my best guess is that this one was cut out shortly before my youngest was born (he was born the same year as the publication year), and since he was more than a month early, it was packed up, instead of being made, because we all know babies come first!

Lots of things have happened since then, including moving, and I guess whenever I came across it, there was always something more important, or more interesting going on. My simple plan to remedy this situation (yes, I have lots more UFOs), is to take them to my new studio, where I have limited supplies, and will actually pull them out and work on them because I don't work on my important projects there - well, maybe if I have to meet a deadline:-)

Anyway, compared to some other projects, this one was actually packed up so well that I could just look at the pattern and get to work (other than one little piece that I must have forgotten to cut - but I've already replaced it with a new piece). The pieces for each section were stacked, and the stars even had the colors sorted into individual star piles, with the first ones that were needed on top, and the last ones that I need on the bottom. The plastic templates were all in a little baggie, and the pattern was on top! Yep, this one was from a time where we did not get step by step assembly instructions - for the house block it just said to use the templates and follow the illustration to make the house, although I just measured them and cut the squares, rectangles and triangles with my rotary cutter. (I should have taken the picture before starting, but this is what it looked like after the house and first border pieces were taken out and assembled.)

Each one of these stacks is for one star - each one is different, all scrappy, but color coordinated within the block. (Notice the templates.)

Since I like random scrappy, I still laid out the pieces to each border before sewing, just trying not to have too many of the same fabric in one spot, as well as to make assembly easier (less chance of sewing something in the wrong direction). Of course, things happen...

One more border remains to be added - all half square triangles. I would have kept sewing, but we needed to leave, so this is how it will greet me when I return.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quilts from Libby's Class - 3 Finished!

They're quilted, bound, and have sleeves sewn to the back, so all that is needed is a label, which I plan to print on the computer.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Three Days with Libby Lehman

The past long weekend in Libby's classes was absolutely wonderful! She is so organized, and has a wonderful set-up with a camera / computer / projector, so the whole class can see everything projected larger than life. We were all able to see what she sees when she sits at the machine, and we were able to see things that you'd usually need a magnifying glass to see right from our work areas! She gave us lots of great information about needles, threads, feet and other tools, organizing and even packing for trips. In the classes, we got a chance to play with all those fancy stitches that don't get used very often by quilters (some of which have been in my drawer for quite a while).

When several others starting taking pictures of Libby, I grabbed my camera and was planning to do the same, but when I introduced myself and mentioned that I had listed her as one of the references in my book, she asked about it, and I just happened to have a copy of the shop flyer with me to show her. At her suggestion, she held the shop flyer for my book, and I held her book (which I had her autograph), and one of my friends took the picture. Thank you Libby!!!

The Friday / Saturday class was called Circle This, and we used quite a few techniques on our samples, and played with the circle maker tools that attached with our machines. My sample isn't quite finished, but is almost ready to have the stabilizer torn away and be quilted.

Somehow there had been some confusion as to which class Libby was supposed to be teaching, and she came prepared to teach the Radiant Circles class, which is pictured on the cover of Bernina's Through the Needle magazine, issue 32. Well, since she had the handouts for the class, she generously handed them out to us, and explained how to do the circles. Even though I hadn't felt well all day in class, between dinner and the thought of that handout gave me a second wind, and I stayed up making this quilt top!

Sunday's class was Two for One Threadplay, and since we were working on two at the same time, I decided to use one to try out techniques on, and the other for my favorites. I really like doing free motion zigzag stitches on the edges of my applique leaves, and used it along the sides of the applique in a similar way that she used zigzag machine stitches, the difference being that I didn't need to turn the fabric to follow the curves, because I could stitch in any direction.
I haven't done bobbin work in quite a while, and as soon as Libby stitched a sample swirl, I knew it was what I wanted to use on my sample. This first little sample is finished, and I'm ready to tear away the stabilizer, and plan to use the circle tool to quilt circles with green metallic threads that will look like ripples in water.

Here is my sampler, still in progress. I still need to add more techniques that were shown in class, but it doesn't need too much added to be complete.

If I ever get a chance to take another of Libby's classes, I'll register asap, because it was such a fun class!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More than one kind of weaving

has made progress...

The loom is not only threaded, but enough fabrics has been woven to reach and wrap around the cloth beam (only once, but it's still progress), and in between other projects, I managed to weave this nice little kit basket.

Somehow I forgot to blog my larger tote basket (noticed I hadn't photographed it when I went to blog the new one), so here it is. I think the name of the pattern was Attic Quilt Basket, and although I had expected it to be larger (yes, it did have measurements, but you know how it goes - it's hard to imagine a size), but it has ended up being the perfect size to tote my larger projects in, and it fits on the floor, between the front and back car seats!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gelatin print pictures

I promised more pictures....

This first group has some of my favorites. For some, stamps were impressed in the paint covered gelatin, for others tools were dragged in, or items such as punchinella (sequin waste) were laid on top before printing, fork tines dipped in paint, and some have a combination.

One of the most difficult things was having enough paint on the gelatin, without using too much, although second prints from those over-inked prints were very interesting. Below are two prints with the left being the first print, and the right being the second print. Each have interesting possibilities for further enhancement.

Ellen printed these next two, so I'm not sure if she added more paint to the first one after printing the second, but I think she used leaves as a resist in the second, and then used them to print with (there may have already been a ghost image on the fabric). They are my favorite prints of hers, and I love the leaf detail in the first one.

I think this was my first print, and I found it difficult to control the stamps when trying to press it into the paint on the gelatin, because it was very slippery.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gelatin Printing and stamping

Last week, my friend Ellen and I got together to try gelatin printing. I've been reading and thinking about this for quite a while, but hadn't tried it yet, and I had recently purchased another book that included the technique, it was time!

I pulled out my trays of fabric paint, brayers, stamps, picked some leaves from the garden and covered the table with a plastic tablecloth to protect it.We turned out the gelatin onto foil, so we'd be able to lift and move it if we wanted to.

At first, we tried to use larger pieces of fabric, but ended up tearing it into pieces that were just a bit larger than the gelatin, and found it much easier to work with. We poured paint onto the gelatin an dused brayers to spread it out, and sometimes forks worked even better to spread several colors without overblending the colors. We used forks, paint scrapers, and anything we could think of, including caps from spray bottles. Whenever we used stamps to create designs in the paint, we stamped the ink off onto another piece of fabric, or in my case, my painting apron.

The time flew by, and we ended up with fabric spread out to dry on two racks. Here's the rack that had most of our fabrics - mine are mostly in the front half, and Ellen's in the back half. I've taken some close-ups of some of Ellen's fabrics, and once I take some of mine, I'll post my favorites.

Although we only needed one gelatin plate each, both of us mixed up more than one pan of gelatin, because we didn't think they would hold up nearly as long as they did, and hopefully we'll use them to print more fabirc before they dry out and become unusable.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On the quilting side of things

The Square Within is coming along, and here is the growing stack of completed blocks. There are still quite a few remaining to be sewn, but I'm making progress!

Last Friday, I took Barbara Shapel's two-sided quilt workshop (Thread Duets Design Workshop). I learned a lot, but didn't make much progress in class. (I did get farther along than the picture shows, but need to pin it back up for a picture after returning home.) This is the "front", or main side, and I've already picked out and planned fabrics for the other side.

Another project that will be getting pushed ahead of these is a Madrona tree quilt for Madrona Digital.


I'm a little behind on my posts, due to computer issues (it's great when they work and not much fun when they don't), so thought I'd separate the things I've done by type of project.

This first basket was not made by me, but by my friend Cathy. When she was visiting, I had asked her about making a napkin basket for our newly remodeled kitchen, and while I was working on the large basket below, she started making one for me. Thank you Cathy, it's beautiful!

This basket is big and strong, designed for holding lots of stuff! While Cathy was here, she taught another friend Ellen and I make these quilt baskets. I wouldn't have been able to do the fancy handle without her help, and suggestions, and it was a nice change to be able to work on a project while chatting away, as it makes the project go quickly. We worked on them together on two days, and I finished the rim on mine the next day (probably as she was flying home). I'm so happy with it! Thanks again Cathy!!!

My sister-in-law Sepideh, tried to make it to our basket making gatherings, and wasn't able to , so I did my best to help her design and make a bread basket. Since it was to be used for lavosh, a flatbread, it isn't the shape most people would expect to see, and I didn't even think about the low shape that she wanted until I saw it in use. I really love her choice of colors and think it came out great!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Lots of Blocks

Or rather, lots of partial blocks, because these are sections of larger blocks. Hopefully, I'll sit down and put these together later this week, as I'm currently reading / editing the page proofs for my book!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Beyond my Control - winner

Since there weren't that many interested in my little felted bag, I decided to just assign a number to the comments. The numbers were written on little papers, folded, and tossed in a paper bag. After shaking and stirring, one was pulled out - and the winner is......Knitchix!!! Contact me and I'll get the bag to you.