Friday, May 22, 2015

APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN MEADOW - NEW WORK

 Well, this piece was a LONG time in the works.  It was one of those projects where an 'ahhhh' design just kept eluding me.  I had every intention of posting  photos of the entire process, but after seeing just how many there were and realizing how much whining and indecision would be exposed....I've opted to share only 3.
The project began in Nov. 2014, as a small piece of yellow silk noil. It was transformed using a soy wax resist and green, yellow, and orange/red dyes.
I'm inspired by the mountains that surround me.....so the idea was to hand embroider a mountain scene and frame it with hanging branches using two strands of floss.  (Which took a lonnnnng time!) Though I had not envisioned any other design elements....as often happens....the piece tells you to keep going....and so I did.  
APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN MEADOW  18" X 16"
Artist soy wax resist/hand-dyed silk noil, cotton batik, hand embroidered.
Detail - Appalachian Mountain Meadow

Check out how what other artists have been up to this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop, Whoop Friday, Richard and Tanya Quilts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

GREY'S ANATOMY FANS

SO....for those of you who where surprised when viewing the recent episodes of Grey's Anatomy.....I must admit I wasn't.  We are big race fans.....and in the race world we KNEW this was coming.....




Dr. McDreamy is no more....still Dreamy??  Yes of course.....but perhaps only to race fans.  We've seen him up and personal many, many times.....very personable and accessible to fans.......  as cute in person?   Yes!  But as most race car drivers are:  physically quite small....however the cuteness factor is still there as you can see!

Yup...this is fiber unrelated...guess that means I have nothing to report about that subject today!  Coming soon though.......

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BLOGGER CONNECTIONS

I've already rambled on about how much I miss the in-person connection with students......I'll try to stop whinning about that...the decision not to travel teach anymore was valid for so many reasons......  However, I now realize I'm not living in a vacuum afterall.

Today a smile developed as I read Crafty Quilting with Pamela's blog.  I had been contacted by this New South Wales, Australia artist, inquirying about specifics of the resist dye felted wool pieces I've created.  The real expert is Chad Hagan, and I passed along her contact info.... and also shared some tips that I found helpful.

As they say....a picture is worth 100 words.....I'd say she's suceeded!!

Here are two of my pieces which have been embellished, finished with a backing and hanging device.
 Shooting Stars & Space Blossoms -  6" x 8"
SOLD
Sunshine & Shadows - 8" - 5"
Available here (about 1/4 way down the page)

Monday, May 18, 2015

ONE PERSON'S TRASH.......

Even though we are trying to 'purge' all unnecessary 'stuff'.......thanks to my pal Georgia Bonesteel I inherited a nifty antique drying rack.
Georgia actually had it packed up ready to transport to Goodwill when she happened to mention this handy item.  PERFECT for my use....a portable and rather small rack.  It needed a bit of repair - 'the handy husband' took care of that. I scrubbed years of grime away and sealed the wood with varnish.
Next week the Fiber Junkies will be dyeing.....so I'm preparing a cut up old white on white tablecloth (that I no longer use) with soda ash.  I'm a happy camper!!  Thank you Georgia!

Friday, May 15, 2015

PLAID-ITUDE

Back in January I eagerly dug into a box of felting supplies, a Xmas gift from my son & DIL.  
 The luscious color of this batt of pre-felt is called watermelon.  Layers have been carefully placed and ready for the wet felting process.
After lots of rolling and throwing and with the aid of a variety of 'curls' and pencil roving, this small plaid design was the result.  It's more than a blank canvas yet it could still use more design elements.
 My initial idea called for a lot of beading with the addition of hand embroidery. However, the more I studied the graphic design the more I realized keeping it simple was a better plan.
PLAID-ITUDE  10" X 11"
Artist hand wet felted wool, bead embellished.

See what other creative folks have been up to this week at:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Whoop, Whoop, Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Richard and Tanya Quilts. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MOUNTAIN LIVING

Declaration - spring has sprung into summer here in the mountains! The garden beds and potted plants are now nicely attended to (without much help from me I might add!) At this elevation, the Rhododendrons and Blaze Azaleas are just beginning their show.  They bloom from mid-May to late June.

Enjoy the season wherever you are.......




MY NEW APPROACH TO PATCHWORK

As along as we've been chatting about Patchwork....here's my kinda patchwork these days.......let the fabric do the talking!!  Which is my excuse for being so impatient stitching blocks!

Excuse the photo.....my design wall is a office divider which leans against the wall......therefore it's impossible to take a photo without getting distortion.  It is straight....but doesn't appear so here.

The quilting will be done on my home sewing machine....another activity I don't especially enjoy. So it will be straight lines which obviously won't change the look too much.....making this is the last peek of the lap quilt I'll be posting.  

 Sun Dabbled Forest - 53" x 60"
Commerical batik fabric

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

PATCHWORK THEN AND NOW

After my last post, I began reflecting upon my start in quilt making which began with traditional patchwork.  I still like the look and believe it or not, continue to decorate mainly with traditional quilts.

I'll admit the patchwork quilts I make now are MUCH simpler and faster because I'm anxious to get back to creating art quilts.  For you non-believers....yes I really did make traditional quilts.
 This photo of my living room appeared in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine's "At Home With Quilts - Oct. 1995 - issue #276.  The Thousand Pyramid quilt is a charm quilt....no single fabric patch was repeated.  It's hand quilted.
 Here's a view of our great room at our river home in Brodhead, WI.  Note the "Little Red Schoolhouse" hanging on the right.  To this day, I continue to use antique ladders to display quilts.
Our current home in North Carolina has a 24' high ceiling in the great room and that requires a HUGE quilt to cover the large wall area along the stairway. This quilt features authentic batik fabrics my MIL collected on her many trips to Indonesia. It was made in 2010, specifically to hang here (allowing my other two very large quilts to rest between hangings).

Back when I started quilting in the mid 1980's I would never have dreamed it would lead to a 25+ year career traveling the quilting highway, nor would I have envisioned the type of quilts I'm creating now.  The skills I mastered back then to achieve accurately pieced quilts, meticulously hand quilted were the foundation for my journey.  I'm still enjoying that journey!





Monday, May 11, 2015

LITTLE RED SCHOOLHOUSE QUILT

We all know the internet has the ability to be educational as well as intrusive.  With only one click we can inherit large sums of money (grinning), and become acquainted with people whose paths would never have crossed ours outside of cyberspace.  

I had one of these connections awhile back when I received an email inquiry from Drue Cochran asking where she could obtain a pattern for my "Little Red Schoolhouse" quilt seen somewhere online. Regular readers here know that though I once enjoyed patchwork, now I'm much more interested in spending time with other techniques in the pursuit of creating art quilts.  So this was a very flattering request!

I've never published my own patterns outside of books, so Drue's inquiry led me to scour the publication pages of my resume to help guide her because I knew it had been published by other sources. To my shock this quilt has had quite a history:

Rodale Quilt Books, May 2004.  “Little Red Schoolhouses” - quilt selected as one of the most memorable quilts from the 10 volume “Classic American Quilt Collection” series. - pages 130-136

Classic American Quilt Collection:  Schoolhouse -  publisher Rodale Press -1995  - pg. 40-47, 104-105

Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design Show Catalog (front cover) Sept. 1995 -  quilt -  “Little Red Schoolhouse” 

https://seehowwesew.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/housing-projects-part-2-a-free-block-pattern-and-more-wonderful-quilts/

https://www.pinterest.com/hot4art/schoolhouse-quilts/

Little Red Schoolhouse  by Mary Stori 1990
**Though it's not very visible in this poor quality photo, the quilt has been hand quilted, featuring alphabet and numbers in the border.
How very nice it was to hear back from Drue with photos and an explanation of her rendition.  With her permission, I'm sharing it below because it's such a good example of kindness (her gift to a friend as well as sharing it with me).  Having been a quilt instructor for so long generates a surprising number of inquiries. The quilt world has treated me very well....how fortunate that I can continue sharing.  What a treat to see this updated version of my quilt!!

                                       

Hi Mary,

Finished the "Little Red Schoolhouse " quilt and delivered it to my friend on Friday.  I took some pictures and am sending you a few.  Hope you enjoy.  I really enjoyed making it, it was a lot of fun .

I quilted it using my embroidery machine and the block letters and numbers, A,B,C and 1, 2, 3 on the borders and in the sashings.  Needless to say, my friend (picture #3) was ecstatic and almost in tears. 

She had wanted me to make one of the roof tops from a piece of fabric that was red with bluebonnets, but when I auditioned it with the other fabrics, it didn't look right to me, so I contacted her about using it in the 9 patches instead, which would allow it to be worked in all over the quilt rather than in one spot.  She decided she'd leave that decision to me and the result was much more attractive. 

I have had many, many compliments on the quilt and the pattern, which of course I have explained that the pattern is yours and from the book your pattern is in. 

Thank you so much in helping me locate your pattern.

THANK YOU DRUE FOR SHARING THIS WONDERFUL QUILT!!



Friday, May 8, 2015

GELLI AND MONO PRINTING

Our May Fiber Junkie's meeting focused on gelli and mono printing. Gen was our ever gracious hostess....allowing us to take over her house and make a big mess. 
 Denny who owns enough 'stuff' to open her own art store came prepared with gelli pans for each of us.  Several members brought books plus other tools for inspiration and after a slow start we jumped in.  I was so engrossed in what I was doing, my usual picture taking was ignored except for my personal quests.
First, some background....I blogged about this in March but will repost some of it here to make it easier for you to follow.  I've created so many dyed/printed designs as a result of our meetings that this time I was determined to see if I could rescue a few of my failures.

The color of this National Nonwoven 80/20 Woolfelt piece turned me off.
So, back in March when we experimented with microwave ice-dyeing this was the even uglier result.  I HATED it!!!
WOW.....what a difference a little mono printing makes!  Be sure to keep reading to see more transformations.
This wool piece had been previously tray-dyed at least a year and a half ago....yielding boring results. Another half year + went by and I reworked it using an acrylic paint Shibori method.  Sadly, now it's even worse!
What the heck, three must be the charm.  So at our last meeting, I decided to see what would happen if I microwaved ice-dyed it.  Perhaps it's slightly better....but not really usable in my humble opinion.
Okay, we are now up to date....May 2015.  My tools are ready, Plexiglas, brayer roller, and some stencil ideas.....
3 colors of acrylic paint were smeared on the Plexiglas, using a credit card rather than the roller.
My pal Kate loaned me a charming leaf stamp.....but one addition made me realize this wasn't the solution to fix this fabric either.
Now I was really stumped.....until Val showed us a bunch of Stencil Girl stencils she'd brought.  Yes, yes.....this may be the answer.  So with additional paint on the Plexiglas, topped with a stencil....I boldly pressed the wool onto the plate.
YIPPIE!!!  Over the moon results.....I couldn't have been happier!!  The wool was nearly a yard long which required more printing.....and more jumping up and down.
This final example was another microwave ice-dyed failure.  It's a loosely woven cotton...Before view on the left - After on the right. I should have realized it wouldn't accept dye because when I soaked it in soda ash the fabric seemed to repeal the solution. Obviously there was some sort of finish/sizing that should have been removed.  BUT.....I boldly went ahead and tried dyeing it anyway.....and got nearly zip for my efforts.
I was on a roll using Val's stencils so I plunged ahead and printed several different designs on this yard long piece. I didn't make an effort to have them continuous since I wanted to try a variety of shapes.
These will eventually get cut up and hopefully find their way into a cohesive piece of wall art.  

Our newest member Denny has set such a good example by constantly reworking fabrics she wasn't pleased with....thank you for the encouragement!!!  And of course the cheering and sharing of all FJ members are what can make an ordinary day extra-ordinary.

Linking to:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Whoop, whoop Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Richard and Tanya Quilts.