Friday, October 21, 2011

The ladies at the Pieceable Quilters in Lynden, WA enjoyed my trunk show and had lots of fun in the Sunflower Garden class.  Since they were Tuesday evening and Wednesday, they made a reservation for me at the Kale House in Everson.  This was my first stay in a B&B, and it was wonderful.  The B&B is charming!  

If tomorrow is bright enough, I'm hoping to take a picture of the newer Sunflower Garden.  It's the bolder, batik version of the original and everyone loves it!  Another difference, is that I free motion quilted the blocks after I appliqued the flowers, although it still has quite a bit of fancy machine stitching:-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Field of Sunflowers

While the paint was still out, I painted the sunflower fat quarter quilt, so now it's also ready for binding and a sleeve! Although the discharge I tried in the background layer didn't seem to work as planned, maybe the paint to discharge paste was wrong, who knows, but it will require more testing to find out.  At least the background still worked for the sunflowers, and I'm happy with the way it came out!

This is the original fabric sandwich that was quilted:

The paint changed it to look like this:

It's fun to experiment with little projects like these, so I'm planning to do more in the future!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Daisies in Vases

Last night I had some fun with paint!  Using my limited palette of Jacquard fabric paints that came in little squeeze bottles, I mixed opaques, pearls and the metallic Lumieres to add more color to my little fat quarter, painted floral quilts.  I think the only thing left to do is bind and add a sleeve, and am considering an invisible binding, like I did on Janet's Influence, so the binding doesn't take away from the daisies and vases.

It started with a fat quarter sized fabric sandwich to be used to demonstrate free motion quilting on during our local shop hop.  As there were long breaks between groups of hoppers, I decided to have some fun and see what could be done with supplies on hand.  I used chalk to trace around my drink bottle, for the outer size for the daisies.  Once those were quilted, I decided they would be in funky vases and sketched funky outlines for the vases, stems and leaves.  All the sketched areas were filled in with free motion quilting and then the background, which ended up looking like this:

Up close, showing the real fabric color:

I wanted more color in the background, so this was painted with Jacquard's Dye-na-flow fabric paints, which flow more like a dye.  Now I liked the background color and it was ready to paint the daisies and vases, and the light was right, so I was able to get a better picture that showed the quilting off .  [I wish I could get the light to be like this for all my pictures:-)]

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lecture and Class Next Week

I'm looking forward to speaking at the Pieceable Quilters guild meeting and then teaching the Sunflower Garden class next week (October 18th and 19th).  Their guild is in Lynden, WA and it is going to  be lots of fun, but right now I need to finish sorting, packing and taking care of all the little details that need to be finished before I leave.

Basket Weaving Progress

My gathering basket is getting closer to being finished, with only the handle left to be woven!  It has been difficult following the pattern, and I think it is because of this double handle with filler.  Other than the wood hoops, initial weaving in the natural reed color, and spokes that are seen here, I decided to finish the basket in an improvisational manner using the coordinating flat reed.  There are things I would do differently in a future basket, adding more ribs (I didn't add all the ones the pattern called for), and only two hoops.  The double handle and two D-handles used for the basket rim do add more strength to the basket, however my two hoops were not identical, or perfectly oval, and trying to weave around the added round reed that is between them was impossible in the basket, but I'm planning to try again on the handle.

Overall, I think it came out ok, considering it's my first time weaving a basket like this from a book.  It is much more difficult to work with than the little melon baskets, which were a piece of cake compared to this one!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Watercolor Pumpkins

A couple weeks ago, we harvested some little sugar pumpkins from our garden, and I've been trying to paint them ever since.  I'm fairly happy with the first two, but the last one is still in need of help, but I think it will be left as is, because it is the best I can do at this time:-)

For the first two pumpkin paintings, I decided to paint first and outline afterwards, and being an experiment of sorts, I took pictures before inking, and although I liked the pumpkins without the ink, I really needed ink on the sign and decided to go ahead and ink them, so I would be able to compare them later.  I think in this case, the pumpkins looked more realistic without the ink.  What can I say, other than don't be afraid to experiment, live and learn!

This one was painted last week.  I did the outlines before painting and was very unhappy with the way I left it.  This weekend, I did the best I could to fix the sign, which was really bothering me.  No, the finished painting (above) isn't perfect, but it looks better than it did (below), and I learned a lot about the paper and paints I've been using for these.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Slow Progress

A couple more pincushion baskets have been woven and all the ends have been tucked.  Even though they still need rims, I've already decided my favorite is the multicolored one in the front left, and it was woven from scraps leftover from weaving the others.  Once the rim is on, I'm thinking I'll try dip dyeing the plain basket and see how it comes out.

The instructions for this Flower-Gathering Basket are from a Kindle book called Weaving Country Baskets.  It's progressing a bit slower than I'd hoped, although it's because I'm only following the structure and basics from the pattern, and have decided not only to change the colors, but also the reed size and style, trying to use up some earth colored #3 reed that has been in my stash for too long.  

As you can see, each side is a bit different, because I'm weaving the entire length of each piece of reed, however, I did try to keep the colors in the same order.  For the remainder of the basket, I'm thinking it will be random color changes, possibly using some 1/4" flat that I have in the same colorway, when I get the weaving even, but will make that decision when I get there.  The instructions said to weave around the round filler reed that is between the two hoops, I wasn't able to do it (maybe I should have spaced them further apart?), so am weaving the base as if it is one really wide reed.  I'll try again when I get to the handle:-)