Saturday, September 14, 2019

MOUNTAIN ART QUILTERS - DYEING PART 2

In all, 16 trays of ice-dyed material was processed, yielding a lot of beautiful fabric.  Here are some closeups for you to enjoy.  I used mainly white PDF cottons, and a few previously dyed solids and prints. All were soaked in soda ash before dyeing.


 But....just so you don't think every piece was wonderful....here's evidence of some that weren't.   My over-dyed solid (right) that had been dyed at least once before was still ugly.  The mercerized cotton piece on the left had some lovely patterning, but the colors were simply blah.....
Not so with this one......great combo of colors and patterns.
We had time to do some acid dyeing.  Our equipment was fairly limited so for the most part my felted wool results weren't special, however, this small piece of was!  Others dyed silk scarves which came out great.

Sometimes achieving really bright red color can be difficult, less so though when using acid dyes.  Here I used 100% felted wool which was left to boil in the acid bath for about 8 mins., turned and processed for about another 8 minutes.

Lower right is my pile of ice-dyed cottons and above, on the right, are two pieces of cheesecloth that we dyed and shared equally.

We were so very lucky to have had picture perfect weather and such a great place to get wet and messy!  

Friday, September 13, 2019

MOUNTAIN ART QUILTERS - ICE-DYEING IN THE MOUNTAINS

Several members of the Mountain Art Quilters gathered for a few days of fabric dyeing.  The Mountain Art Quilters grew out of the SAQA chapter that met about 5 hours away in Raleigh.  It became apparent a local group would be more beneficial given the great distance we had to travel, so it quickly grew from the original 6 to around 18-20 members at this time.  One isn't required to be a SAQA member to join Mountain Art Quilters.

The weather was PERFECT....and nearly as fast as our tables and other supplies came out of our cars.....we were set up in a sunny clearing prepared to do some serious ice-dyeing.
We all brought MX dyes to share.....behind is the cabin in the Pisgah National Forest that we rented.

 We also brought bags and bags of ice in coolers......our screens are placed on kitty litter trays, soda ash soaked fabric was arranged on the screens, topped with ice.
 Donned with gloves and masks.....we sprinkle on several different colors of MX dyes.
 Each tray is wrapped in black plastic, secured with clips and left in the sun until the ice melts (overnight if necessary).
 Then it's Christmas morning when the plastic is removed.....
 Oooos' and Ahhhh's are constantly exclaimed.

After rinsing and rinsing and rinsing till the water runs clear, the fabrics are hung to dry....with more sighing and high fiving.

More results coming next.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

HOUSE REFRESH FINISHED..."I THINK"

The final phase of our home refresh was to update the stairway and my studio loft railings.  We got tired of the bulky pine log look, wanting a fresher look instead.
 The railings served as such a handy surface for displaying some of my antique quilts and quilt tops.
However, as you can see, I have plenty more displayed...on ladders and hanging from the stairway wall (photo below.)

Here's the new look.....and I'm smitten.  Feels so much more open, larger and lighter!
I may drape one or two quilts from the studio railing just to disguise the ironing board and some of my storage bins that live beneath my cutting table.  I'm giving that decision some time.  So, unless we win the lottery (of which we don't  play), our home reno projects are now complete!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

3 FISH PROJECT COMING TOGETHER

Since no contractors have invaded our house today, there was a window of time to work on "3 Fish".

Darn it....I was determined to add some air bubbles for the fish. Seriously, I tried at least a dozen different materials. Persistence pays off....I had narrowed it down to painting them directly onto the background, but no matter what color, they wouldn't show up well enough. (Good thing I tried it on scraps of fabric instead the nearly finished quilt!)


 Alas.....lame' was the answer....fussy cutting & the fusing process took time, but it worked.
Yup....the light reflects nicely off this shiny fabric.


By the time you read this I'll be off the grid temporarily as I abandon 'the husband" & Sooty the rescue black lab for a few days of ice-dyeing, acid dyeing, and any other mischief my pals and I can come up with. Back soon....




Monday, September 9, 2019

3 FISH WALL ART - CONTINUES

If you follow this blog you'll notice the design/construction of this whimsy fish quilt continues.  No, it's not finished yet.....studio work is on hold again while my open loft railings get replaced. 

This piece was inspired by a hunk of my ice-dyed background fabric. Honestly, if you've never ice-dyed....you MUST.  I love the magical results.  Sometimes working with bigger pieces can be challenging because of its energy, but that's also what makes the fabric so appealing. 

The design is slowly coming together.....check back for updates won't you?

Saturday, September 7, 2019

CAR CLUB SCOUTING TRIP

Our local PCA car club is extremely dedicated to developing 'drive and dine' outings that combine the beauty of Western North Carolina and the love of our Porsches!

Thank you Jim Moore for your leadership and always providing such great photos that celebrate our time together.
This week 5 volunteers scouted an upcoming drive to Clingsman's Dome. They checked out the dining options in Bryson City, NC.
 Clingsman's Dome, is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This observation tower is at 6,643 feet elevation. 
Awesome views....enough said.....

Thursday, September 5, 2019

GO PACK GO

For die hard Packer fans like us......if the Packers never win any other game during a season, it's a MUST to beat the Chicago Bears.  After living in the Chicago area for over 30 years.....we've had to put up with 'Da Bears' and their fans...when everyone knows America's favorite team is the Green Bay Packers!!! 

                So for the first game of the season tonight....let me say......
            
             GO PACK GO......GO PACK GO

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

FISH WALL ART....IN PROGRESS

With so many household tasks on my to-do list, studio time has been very limited.  However, with a few breaks here and there, fabric choices and layout decisions have jelled.

I hope to begin the actual construction soon....stay tuned.....


Ice-dyed background & colorful fun commercial fabrics

Monday, September 2, 2019

INTERRUPTIONS

Studio time isn't happening this weekend.....instead we are doing more physical labor than either of us care to.  Besides the deck project that's been ongoing since the beginning of July, we've had a few other upgrades waiting in the wings.  (But today we did some wood staining, bush/tree trimming, power washing, window washing.....dust from all this construction seems to be everywhere!)
  This is a view of the ugly course gravel the home contractor placed beneath our front covered porch.  We have so much decking we never utilize this space, however the appearance of the unused space as always bugged me.
Since staying in this house until our assisted-care rocking chairs become necessary, we decided to make it more appealing.  Freshly painted outside entrance doors, inviting shrubbery pots, and a flagstone path.
My desire was to fill the whole space with flagstones......but after getting the quote I had to adjust my wishes.  This path took our landscapers an entire week to create...and they worked non-stop.  The old ugly gravel became the base and now we have very colorful pea gravel surrounding the flagstones.  Soil had to be added to raise the ground level to the new wood barriers.  We will be watering that area now in hopes that the grass seed sprouts before the snow flies.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

STUDIO TIME

Back in the studio...puttering/auditioning...not sure where this is going yet but enjoying the journey.




Friday, August 30, 2019

STOCKING UP FOR FALL VISITORS

Fall is a busy season for Asheville's art galleries.  It's always so rewarding to utilize the wide range of my hand-dyed fabrics and other unique fabrics.  I've teamed them up with Ultra-suede which is used for the spines and closures, along with a 100 sheet composiiton notebook measuring appx. 10" x 8".  This is a sample of what I've created lately, available from me or at Woolworth Walk, Ashville, NC #235 - lower level.
 Ice-dyed vintage cotton damask (originally a table cloth).
 Mercerized ice-dyed cotton, overdyed with indigo.
Made from an antique quilt top, circa early 1900's that I had on display for over 20 years.  The exposed area was terribly faded so I retired it.  Now I'll use the good sections for book covers.  

Visit these sites to see what other artists have been working on this week:
Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday.

Monday, August 26, 2019

UNVEILING

Because this is a fiber related blog, I try to keep the subject matter narrow.  This is not fiber related so feel free to close this window now.....or read on......

For the last 2+ months I've referred to the turmoil we've had in our life: to move our aging bodies to a more appropriate home or address as many of the issues as possible that we have with this one.  So for many reasons, we chose the later.  

Because I've had numerous personal inquires asking for further details, I decided to unveil photos of the biggest changes that have been made so far.  Our decks, railings, & staircases have been replaced with maintenance free Trex products ....which very much changed the appearance of the outside of our home.  Here's before and after:
This was taken in 2011....before the landscape was mature.  The heavy log railing/posts are evident.  We liked it then, BUT not the expense and work of the constant maintenance.  Besides the two covered porches. there is a very large open deck in the back...sooooo much work!
Not the greatest after picture....but hopefully you get the idea......
 Despite our constant upkeep on all this wood, the front staircase was so poorly constructed that most of it had to be rebuilt.  We've also gotten rid of all the green exterior door colors, changing them to black to match the new deck posts.
Here's our new staircase....with added lights for safety and security.  Some of the wire cable railing is still missing in the lowest section....waiting on parts.  We are going to live with the green gutters and downspouts for now.....but they too were inferior and no doubt will have to be changed in the near future.
                         
 And now some close up views....we love the open wire cable railing system vs. the previous massive logs that closed in the feel of the deck and obscured the view.

 We are again enjoying evening meals on our back deck.
 We've also had work done inside.....which is still ongoing.  To make the "man cave" bathroom handicap accessible, we replaced the original door (which opened inward to quite a small space) with a sliding barn door.  The reflections you see through the open door are some of the 15 small mirrors that I crackled painted the frames white and hung to make this windowless room seem less cave like.  
In this view, the door is closed, revealing some of the iron register grates we've collected as decoration.  Our previous home had about 30 of them on a large wall behind our freestanding Vermont Casting Woodstove.  The buyers coveted them so they stayed with our WI house.  These were some we had yet to install, so happily they got moved to NC with us.  I'm currently looking for a few more!

This whole aging thing is quite a shock to us....we don't feel old but sometimes our bodies don't agree, so we are taking the necessary steps to keep ourselves in an environment that is as safe and user friendly as possible until we find ourselves drooling in rockers somewhere else!!

There will be one more big change inside and I'll share that as it happens.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

WET FELTED ACORNS

Wet felting is always time consuming and messy.....but it's an activity I enjoy.....
Each fall I collect acorn 'hats' used to create these adorable colorful felted acorns.
 The challenge this time was to find a way to mount groupings for sale & display.  After what took way too long, they are now attached with thread to card stock.......
........and packaged in clear zip bags.  

Available soon at Woolworth Walk, Asheville, NC # 235.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

ORGANIZED MESS

The creative process in studio is at a total halt right now.....but not for a good reason.  As the 'house refresh' continues outside, it has also moved inside.  Lightening and brightening with a fresh coat of paint.  Again, thanks to the recommendation of a friend, we've got a wonderful crew of painters here to make that happen.
 BEFORE  (Are you surprised to see such traditonal quilts displayed in my home??)
DURING  .......The 'AFTER' will be posted....well.....after it's finished.  Can you see why I didn't attempt to paint this myself.  I even got a free window cleaning!  And that's been awhile since it's been done due to the difficulty of reaching it.   

Now I'll have to find something to keep me busy during this process....the crew got homemade chocolate chip cookies yesterday....that allowed for a few hours of baking fun.