Friday, December 14, 2018

OFF THE BEATEN PATH - WALL QUILT

The roads are still somewhat iffy around here, especially early mornings and later in the day when temperatures drop and the snow melt turns to ice.  So...what's a gal to do.....be smart, be safe, stay in studio and finish the last quilt of 2018!
 After much indecision over the most artful direction to showcase my digital prints of interesting subjects found as I hiked and drove around our rural mountain areas in Haywood County, NC. I used a variety of green batiks to surround each print.  Once positioned on my design wall, I found the white background really helped to highlight the images.
Using a cotton print that appears to be "peeling paint"....I set about piecing this puzzle arrangement together.  It took way more time than it should....but that's me....patchwork and math can befuddle me.  But I'm happy I took the time to make it work.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH  - 41" x 34.5"
Artist's photos printed on cotton, machine stitched and heavily quilted.

 I LOVE this photo.....this car was located about a 10 minute walk from our house on Balk Creek Road in Upper Crabtree, NC.  Obviously it had been there for years.  About 3 years ago someone bought the property and removed, YES...removed it.  Too bad.....
 Photo taken at PTA member Dort Lee's property in Sandy Mush......

Visit these sites to see what other artists have had time to work on during this busy holiday season:   Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday  and Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN OUR MOUNTAINS

Our bad weather is keeping me firmly planted in my studio and with any luck....I'll come up with a design to utilize the many photos I've printed onto fabric of the hidden treasures found during our hikes/walks here in the very rural NC mountains.
 I just love these images and of course wish to highlight them as artfully as possible....so out comes some fabric colorway choices.
 Or...maybe I'll combine them.
Or....perhaps even go a completely different route......please do come back and check out my decision.

Monday, December 10, 2018

FIBER JUNKIES DECEMBER MEETING

We marked another year of fabulous Fiber Junkies gatherings at Gen's house with our annual Christmas party.  As usual we began with Show and Tell.
 Denny continues with a mind boggling amount of quilt making....LARGE pieces I might add.  Here's another beauty that has been colorfully pieced and appliquéd.  She's certainly perfected both skills.
 She also completed an ethnic quilt....it was such a pleasure to examine the variety of fabrics and patterns she selected to incorporate into this thoughtful piece.
 I especially love this center block representing cotton fields.
 But NO...she didn't stop there....she pieced the backing and assembled in the lap-quilting method.
 Susan made a table runner....that is so much lovelier than my photo shows!
 Gen is still smitten with paper and is having fun using a variety of pens and inks to create these detailed cards. 
 We love them too and howl at the clever and profound words!
 Denny treats us every year to the most beautiful and delicious Yule Log.  Believe me.....if we didn't know how yummy it was, we'd have a difficult time cutting into the masterpiece.  Denny kids us about the hours it takes to make it....but confesses, it's purchased at a bakery in Greenville, SC.

To start off our pot luck, along with some festive bubbly (our adult beverage of choice for this group), I made herb goat cheese stuffed dates.  A good pal (thank you Lynn) gifted me some Palestinian Medjoul dates purchased on her recent trip to the Holy Land.  They are said to be the best in the world, and I'll vouch for that!

Our meal was beyond delicious.....we all happily groaned as we tried to stand up!!
 Our annual gift exchange is always so special.  We each bring a wrapped gift.....can be homemade or not.  We draw numbers to determine the order of selecting a gift.....one can select an wrapped gift OR steal from someone who has already opened one.....such fun!!
 I was so excited to open this gift....but darn it...Gen decided to steal it from me....not to worry......

.....I then took this Prima color pencil set and one of Kate's handmade book covers from Denny!
Denny's contribution was a book that was enclosed in a lovely silk noil paint surface designed bag.  She used a metal ruler for the snap closure.
Kate was thrilled with her gift.....hand knitted fingerless gloves made by Gen.

This is the only meeting all year where we don't concentrate on fiber experiments....instead we spend time making a list of 'goals' that we'd like to explore in 2019.  Hard to believe I'm typing 2019...where did 2018 go??

Many of you readers tell me you enjoy the adventures of the Fiber Junkies....I thank you for words of encouragement.....we will be back in Jan. with more fun ideas to share with you.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

STORM DRAMA

I hope I'm not tempting Mother Nature.....but so far we've been lucky....not nearly the snow fall amounts as other areas.  But that's so very typical of our mountain weather......over the mountains you see in these pictures, amounts are being reported in double digits.

As long as it continues to snow....rather than sleet!  Sleet is what causes those power outages......fingers crossed....so far so good.  I'm a VERY unhappy camper when there's a power loss and feel very sorry for the reported 19,000 already without power....yikes....


Friday, December 7, 2018

MARSH AT DAWN - Completed

It's always nice to put the finishing touches on another project.  Small, but hopefully a powerful image for anyone familar with marsh life.  It brings me such good memories of the Sheboygan Marsh, located near my home town in Wisconsin.
MARSH AT DAWN - 20" X 15"
Hand ice-dyed silk noil, machine appliquéd, embroidered, and quilted.

During this busy holiday season....artists are still working in their studios...check out what these hard workers have accomplished this week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop, Whoop Friday, Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, November 30, 2018

MARSH AT DAWN

As mentioned on yesterday's post.....I'd cut a section from a larger hunk of ice-dyed silk noil for later use.  Well...I got to use it quicker than expected since the previous project was an utter mess.
The remaining piece is rather small, measuring only 21" x 15" which will become even smaller once it's squared and edges finished.  I created a larger 'marsh' themed piece last year that was the very first piece sold at my Arboretum exhibit, so I decided to experiment with a similar but different view.  

So far this is what I have.....as another idea began to brew....
I keep stumbling over my bin of black and white fabrics...it needs to find a good storage space, but my fabric closet is overflowing already.  Now this puny use of those fabrics won't reduce it by much, but this addition might be just what my little marsh piece needs.
I've never been all that keen about fusing......however, one must keep construction time in mind when pricing quilts for sale.  Fusing is such a time saver over hand appliqué.  Each section is separate and for the time being, just tacked together with a bit of glue stick until it's time to add it to the piece.

Stay tuned....and check out what other artists have worked on during this very busy past holiday week:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

WHAT A MESS!!

One of my favorite fabrics to work with is silk noil.  Which is why this material is usually my first choice to hand-dye when the opportunity presents itself.

The piece below was ice-dyed which yielded less of a all over color mixture than is usual.  It was a fairly large piece and thankfully a section was cut to use for another project.  I say thankfully because this is a MESS.

 The intention was to create a morning sky landscape theme.  Instead as I machine stitched, the results became big blobs of color and lots of distortion.
Silk noil is notoriously sort of flimsy so being very familiar working with it, I added a stabilizer on the wrong side.  However, I used a new (to me) top thread, King Tut by Superior Threads.  Clearly it was just too heavy for this fabric. I should have acknowledged that immediately, but foolishly forged on anyway!

Lesson learned....come back tomorrow to see what I'm doing on the other half of this fabric.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

FOODIE ALERT

"The husband" has always enjoyed the challenges of outdoor cooking....nooooo, never using a gas grill.  He's a wood smoker advocate.  After replacing our 30 year old Big Green Egg with a 'big boy' wood smoker....he can't stop experimenting.

His latest passion focuses on the very high quality meats from Snake River Farms where his first (but definitely not the last) purchase of American Wagyu beef turned him onto this resource that offers higher than prime quality meat.

 Kurobuta Rack of Pork right off the smoker
Frankly, I'm not much of a meat eater......and heck, with this huge amount we'll be gnawing on it for quite some time.  I must agree....it was very flavorful, tender, juicy, with a very impressive appearance.

Sorry....this isn't a fiber related post......rather, a glimpse of the other part of my life!

Monday, November 26, 2018

WHILE YOU ALL WERE EATING TURKEY & LEFTOVERS.........

......I spent my holiday weekend finishing an I-Spy quilt for a family member's baby's arrival.  Such a nice way to think about the things I'm thankful for.....family of course tops the list.

 I-Spy measures 43" x 50".....I attached a sleeve to allow it to be displayed on the wall, the bright colors are sure to attract the little one's attention.  Then as he or she grows a bit older.....it'd be a great cuddle and explore quilt.
 I searched for many 'personalized' fabrics...to use.  For instance, 'the grandfather" (even past the age of 60) has the nickname of "Pork".
My family has always called me "Mouse"......even to this day!

Now the count down for the baby's arrival is on........


Friday, November 23, 2018

SOOTY'S THANKSGIVING MEAL

We all know the drill.....turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, etc.  And then there are the pies......  We humans are fed pretty darn well on Thanksgiving day.
 But, because we didn't actually cook a turkey this year, Sooty was giblet deprived.  But...wait.....she didn't go without a special treat.......
Instead of adding water to her dry dog food....she was slurping on Dog beer.  The numerous burps confirmed she enjoyed her meal!