Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Finishing up those UFOs

It's been a wonderfully busy week.  Both of my sons have been home and it's so great to see them be able to have time together.  They are incredibly close, which just warms my heart.  They and my husband are sports crazy, so it's been football and basketball talk and TV 24/7 around here.  I did manage to get in some uninterrupted studio time when the guys went out one day and am trying to finish up a couple of UFOs (Unfinished Objects).  I faced the back of my printed and hand embroidered cotton velveteen quilt and am sewing on a sleeve. I'm hoping to put this in the Seven Sisters Quilt Show in San Luis Obispo this upcoming April.

I also found time to put a facing on the back of this Asian quilt made up of a wonderful panel piece with lots of Drunkard's Path blocks made over a decade ago.  I hope to put that one in the upcoming show as well.  I hand-quilted it around the circles and outlined the woman in the panel.  What do you think?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hand Embroidery with thickened Dye Prints

 With it getting  chilly here in California, that means below 30 degrees, as opposed to 30 degrees below 0, a temperature we would have in winters in Wisconsin, where I grew up, I pulled out my cotton velveteen quilt to finish stitching.  It keeps me warm as I stitch on it.  I used thickened procion dyes and had a great time drawing line patterns on it.  This quilt started out as a whole piece of fabric and I painted rectangles of solid, bright colors randomly on it with thickened dyes.  After letting it dry a little, I used a syringe, brush and cardboard tube to draw and print line patterns, again using thickened dyes.  It was a fun afternoon of serious play.   Then I cut it apart and reshuffled the rectangles to repeat the colors and patterns in a more random way.

The next step was to quilt it.  I have loved hand embroidery since my mom taught me years ago.  I can remember stitching on stamped pillow cases, floral designs and girls in old-fashioned dresses and bonnets.  Every time I embroider it brings back wonderful memories of my sweet mom. I still have her old Coats and Clark booklet of stitches, which is actually pretty good, and cost only a quarter, back in the day.

Here is a close-up of some of the embroidery on this quilt.  I use mostly perle cotton, #8.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Arashi Shibori Fabrics

It's hard to believe it's been a week since I last posted.  This is such a fun, but busy time of year with Christmas just around the corner.  I did have a chance to put up some of my arashi fabrics on my design wall and have been playing with them to create another quilt.   Arashi shibori is another Japanese fabric resist technique where fabric is tied around a pole, scrunched up and held with twine or string to create a linear pattern.  Here are the ones I'm working with currently.  I have to look at them and play around with them a lot before I make that first cut, but I"m getting close to a plan. Hopefully I have more time this weekend to get back to it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ice Dyed Fabric Quilt

I've been playing around with my ice dyed fabrics auditioning them on my design wall.  As always, the hardest part is cutting them.  I often get color reprints of my fabric photos at the office supply store, which is cheaper than printing them out on my computer,  and play first with cutting the photos up to try out some ideas .  Here's what I put together for ice dye quilt #1.  It measures about 36 by 24 inches.

I like juxtaposing the symmetrical formality of the layout with the explosive qualtity of the fabrics.  What do you think?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Quilted Bag Workshop

Yesterday, our quilt guild, Almond Country Quilters, had a great workshop taught by Yvette Acord, on how to make small quilted bags.  Perfect timing for making those personalized Christmas gifts.  She did a great job teaching us how to make three different styles, from the easier sunglasses or pencil zipper pouch to the small cosmetic zipper bag to the more complicated origami drawstring bag.   Below are my creations.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ice Dyeing

Have you tried this fun, colorful, serendipitous method of creating fabric yet?  If not, go for it.  It's easy!  About a month ago, one of my Cutting Edge group friends, Rene,  showed some of us how to do it.  She's a great teacher and we all made some wonderful fabrics.  I had a chance to create another batch of them and here they are, along with a couple pictures of them in process.

 This is a gallon pitcher of parfait ice dye  pieces.  There are about 5 fat quarters in it.
 These fabrics were twisted and/or tied and put on racks.  Below are some of my results.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm in Quilting Arts for real!

I just got home from work and was excited to see the new Quilting Arts magazine in the mail with my article inside.  I've been waiting since I wrote the article in August to actually see it.  They did a nice job.  They showed a little bit of the fabric that I used CD's as a resist with clamps.  Here is the whole piece which lets you see how I folded it a little bit better.

Below is another fabric where I used wooden boards with a circular shape as the resist.

There's endless ways to fold and an infinite amount of shapes to used as resists to create Itajime fabric.  Hope you will all give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Using itajime fabric in quilts

I love creating new fabric.  In fact, I have overflowing piles of hand-dyes, discharged, low-immersion, soy wax batik, ice-dyed fabrics, you name it.  I hate to cut into some of them. I feel that some are complete just the way they are, but it is hard to find venues who will display these for sale just as they are.  So the challenge becomes how to make them into more 'finished' quilts suitable for hanging.  Here is the first quilt I made using some of my shibori fabrics.

Entangled 1 - 32 1/2" x 29 1/2"
 The background of this quilt is made up of a variety of shibori and low immersion hand-dyes that have been sewn together, then cut into sections and shuffled around, sewn together again, cut and reshuffled once more.  The trees are cut from one piece of fabric using an exacto knife in some places. 

I recently finished the quilt below using both arashi and itajime fabrics and procion dyes

Torrential Dreams, Finally Morning and Fried Eggs 32" x 24"