Friday, October 31, 2014

MY LOVE OF ANTIQUES

Perhaps my love of quilts was a direct result of my love of antique furniture, which I've been collecting for about 45 years.  Silly me, when our move from WI to NC took place in 2006.....parting with some treasures was too difficult so they came with us.

Now with only two more teaching trips during the month of Nov. I'm already reorganizing some of my storage spaces.  I must now admit....I truly DO NOT have room to display several pieces that have been hoarded all this time. I realize many of you do not live in the Asheville area....so I hope I won't bore you with this post.  However, I wish to sell both pieces so if anyone is a local collector.....email me if you are interested.  Pictured are two cross-grain cut oak pieces....

 Wall mounted cabinet 26" x 38" tall x 7.5" deep, with a glass shelf that sits in about the middle of the glass enclosed section.
Beveled mirror  22" high x 44" wide

Thursday, October 30, 2014

FIBER JUNKIES OCT. MEETING

The Oct. Fiber Junkies meeting included a surprise birthday party for Denny.....see yesterday's post.... and experimenting to finish the projects we started in Sept.

That month we used paper images, adhered to fabric with a glue type medium such as Mod Podge.....
 Now, using mostly transparent paint.....we colored the fabric and with the aid of hairdryers...... quickly dried them.
Next, we each selected another image/s....tracing it with a permanent pen. That was followed by additional painting outside and inside the image with metallic paint. The idea is to retain some of the initial paper images by careful paint placement or rubbing it off where necessary.  This piece is one Kate is finishing for her sister who joined us last month.
 I guess I wasn't totally into this concept in Sept., therefore my paper images are sparse.......so here is my BEFORE.
Here's my after.  I decided not to add more paint after drawing the branches with a permanent pen.
Here's Val's before piece - after she painted around her center paper design the first time.
And her 'after' drawing a design with a pigma pen, followed by the addition of metallic paint.
 Denny's 'after'.......I so wish I'd have taken a 'before' picture since this piece was completely transformed!
Gen's daughter was in town visiting and joined us......and it is apparent she inherited her Mom's talent.  I am especially taken with this one......abstract with delicious colors!

None of us can wait for our Nov. meeting when we will work with soy wax.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ANY EXCUSE

Don't we all look forward and gear up for special occasion birthdays? This month, Fiber Junkie's member Denny had a significant birthday which of course, we needed to acknowledge and celebrate.  
 Denny enjoys using spider web designs in her work....so our party theme was easy considering Halloween is so close.  Judy has made a hand dyed table cloth for the guest of honor at our previous 'big' birthday celebrations......and she did for this one as well.  However, to preserve the beauty....it was covered with this fabric that Kate tried to convince everyone that she hand stitched.  NOT!!!  
 Although we do fuss.....we are sensible with our time as well.....so paper products, plus fun 'embellishments' make entertaining easy on the hostess.
 We dressed Denny with a dyed cheesecloth shawl, a lovely (cheap) plastic necklace, a stylish witches hat and broom......
 Extra fabric goodies for our birthday girl.
And....the real reason for making the bread sticks that I blogged about yesterday......to marry the yummy homemade soup made by Gen.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HALLOWEEN FUN FOOD

Cooking has always appealed to me....so much so that I ran a small cooking school years ago and authored a children's cookbook, "I'll Eat Anything If I Can Make It Myself".  Numerous back surgeries and guidelines from doctors guided me away from 'standing on my feet all day & carrying heavy equipment".  Ha.....that could describe of the life of a traveling quilt instructor as well!

The funny thing is.....one of my favorite parts of cooking was garnishing/decorating.  I guess it's not a leap to realize all I did was change my materials....instead of garnishing food, I now embellish cloth.
 Halloween party food can be such fun to create.  I've made 'chopped' off finger breadsticks, enhanced with blue food coloring and almond finger nails. Here they are rising....

 Cooling after a generous wash of garlic salted butter......yummmmmm
Lately kitchen experiments have revolved around creating tasty sugar-free desserts.  The timing is right for this pumpkin mousse.  I had planned to mark a spider web into the filling but it went out of my mind until AFTER I added the plastic spiders.  When it sets I'll go back and do that!

Okay....so this isn't my typical blog topic....maybe I needed all this comfort food after Sunday nights' Packer loss to the Saints.....sigh.....

Friday, October 24, 2014

AGATE INSPIRED SMALL WORK

My evenings have been happily spent stitching away on this little project.
If you are interested, read the back story here and here too.

AGATE INSPIRED  8' x 8"   © 2014
Marbled cotton fabric by the artist, hand embroidered, agate and bead embellished.  Gallery wrapped canvas.

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


Thursday, October 23, 2014

OAK LEAVES - SMALL WALL QUILT

At our September Fiber Junkies meeting, we worked with house paint, applying it to previous quilted designs.  Here's the post.
 This is one of my whole cloth trapunto stencil designs that was machine quilted with metallic thread.  The transformation began with a coat of off white house paint.  Then, after numerous applications of other colors.....the results was quite pleasing.
 The next step was to determine the most appropriate method of finishing the edges.  The layers were a little too thick and a bit stiff to achieve a tidy edge using a facing.  The quest to find fabric that showed off the design, but one that didn't detract, was surprisingly time consuming.  

Eventually this piece was unearthed.  It's a dense cotton that was sun printed. The sun didn't cooperate the day I did this so I had been disappointed in the results.  The (sort or) circles were created using stickers as a resist. 
After applying a double fold binding, it still seemed a bit lacking.
 So with metallic thread, I hand stitched some diagonal lines along the binding that met some of the quilted design lines.  I took them off after sewing two sides.

Instead, working with a heavier Maderia metallic embroidery thread, lines are stitched in only a few areas of the binding.  See below...click to enlarge.
OAK LEAVES  12" x 11"
Artist machine quilted and painted cotton.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BEFORE THE SNOW FLIES

Upon moving to the mountains and with great determination, 'the husband' and I vowed to explore the outdoors on a regular basis.  Though we faithfully walk each day.....it's almost always in our own subdivision.  Sigh.....
 Recently, we learned about a hidden waterfall in the Pisgah National Forest, off the beaten path....really off the beaten path!  After a very bumpy drive along unmarked roads, following written instructions that almost read like ' turn left at the big rock, directly after a sharp right curve....' (You get the picture) we got to the dead end and headed out on foot.   
 This was the reward!
 But I didn't ignore the gems along the way......
The hike was a tad challenging because of the numerous steep berms to navigate.....making me wish I'd have brought my walking stick!  Our black lab was in a frenzy with happiness being out in the woods.....she turned into a great sled dog.....pulling me up the steep mounds....really, she did!
video
I could listen to this all day......it's a very short video if you are interested.

The studio beckons.......we'll visit again very soon. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

PACKER WIN, PACKERS WIN

It hardly gets better......a crisp fall day, the Packer game on TV, and a brilliant and skilled win.....    Packers 38 - Carolina 17

Sorry....no fiber related posting today as it was difficult trying to accomplish much stitching while watching cheering our team on.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

PATIENCE & PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF

After redoing the beadwork....the agate is firmly and beautifully attached!


20 MINUTES TO GAME TIME...........GO PACKERS GO!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

PATIENCE REQUIRED!!!

Attaching agate slices to my projects with beads has become one of my favorite techniques.
 While most would pass on purchasing such a stone....having a hole in it provides more creative opportunities.

 Just when I thought I had conquered this technique....yesterday, I had to admit defeat.  The edges of this stone slice angled downward (instead of straight) and were unusually uneven.  

I misjudged the spacing on the beginning rounds of beadwork.....assuming it could be pulled tight when the last rounds were added (decreasing the number of beads to allow the 'bead cage' to encase the stone.)

The problem was actually apparent early on but I sort of liked the wavy affect along the edge, esp. since the background was marbled cotton.  However, since  these items are for sale, I couldn't risk that the agate would be held snugly enough in place.......
......So......after about 4-5 hours of beading....it only took 10 minutes to remove it.  Sure.....I'll try again.....

THINKING AHEAD TO TOMORROW......GO PACKERS!!!!!!!!  

Friday, October 17, 2014

FOLK ART FLOWERS PROEJCT COMPLETED

My creative time seems to be disappearing lately due to "life"....but I was able to complete a new piece which I blogged about here.

After the hand applique was done, the background was free-motioned machine quilted.  NOT a task I'm comfortable with nor think is fun to do.  But like so much in life....practice is the key, so who knows I may actually look forward to it in the future.
I'd marbled the cotton background awhile ago and combined it with hand-dyed wool which is not an approach I've used before.  This presented a difficult decision about the appropriate edging treatment. After trying many, many options, a facing turned out to be my choice.

However....once it was completed.....(above) it still didn't feel finished so rather than grabbing beads which is my usual solution, small wool squares were added along the two vertical sides.  Now it felt complete.

FOLK ART FLOWERS 20" X 13.5"  © 2014
Artist marbled cotton, hand-dyed wool, machine quilted,
hand embroidered applique.
(click photo to enlarge)

Visit the following to see what other artists have been up to this week:


Thursday, October 16, 2014

FELTED VESSEL - EMBELLISHED

Not long ago I made my first wet felted vessel....a small bowl/vase.

 As seen drying.
 So......I kept wondering whether beads would be a fitting touch.  For regular readers you already know the answer....the decision was yes.  Except for having to deal with the shape, the stitching process was effortless as the thread went through the felted wool like a hot knife through butter.  Not a surprise I guess!
It now feels finished!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ANGEL GOWN GARMENT PROJECT

During my most recent teaching trip Shelley Dawson Hendershot made an announcement to her guild members. She introduced the Angel Gown Garment Project.
The organization is called NICU Helping Hands.  It is based in Fort Worth, Texas and lead by Lisa Grubbs. It was founded in 2010 to create "Family Support for Fragile Beginnings."  The Angel Gown Garments are only a tiny portion of the services they offer families.  The dresses began in 2013 because they recognized the overwhelming need to support families who lost a baby while in the hospital.  Volunteers all over the US turn bridal gowns into Angel Gown Garments. They make both boy and girl gowns in three tiny sizes.  We use bridal gowns because "There's something hopeful about that start of life, about a wedding, and to me, it's that full circle. This child who is so loved by their parents, being wrapped in love by a bride." ~Lisa Grubbs, Founder.

Here are some important links.....I encourage you to take a look and help if you can.  Their website and Facebook page will provide more details.

About Angel Gowns -   
 Sign up as a seamstress


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

FALL COLOR

Fall 2014....and a view of the antique log cabin on our property... 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

MIRACLE IN MIAMI!!!

GREEN BAY PACKERS 27 - MIAMI 24
YEAH......

I'm confident that I have a healthy heart.......what a game!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A FALL COLORING BOOK

Fall is here and it's like looking at a box of crayons! 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

JAPANESE INFLUENCES - TAKE TWO

Inspired by 3 large USPS boxes containing beautiful Japanese style fabrics gifted to me by my dear friend Helen.....a 2nd lap quilt is born.  Check here to see the first.
 Not only did my friend's fabric give me a huge creative push.....a photo of her own quilt made from the fabrics inspired me further.  What I LOVED about it was the visibility of the print fabric and the simplicity of the patchwork.  For someone who isn't all that keen about piecing....this 3 patch block is a match made in heaven!
The fabric choices are vast, so I was able to select mostly reds, purples, and yellows for this quilt.
JAPANESE INFLUENCES #2  47.5" X 62.5"
NFS
Commercial cotton fabrics, machine quilted

This block is a great way to show off those large prints you've been hoarding.....give it a try!