Friday, December 28, 2018

Happy Holidays and Barn Progress

It's been a couple weeks since I last posted. 
We've been busy with family, holiday celebrating and more barn work. 
On Christmas we visited Mission San Miguel, which is just up the road from us.

The mission was founded in 1797. 
It always surprises me how 'gaudy' the interior of the mission church is.

The electrician finished upgrading and installing new lights in the barn last week
 and what a difference his work made. 
Our electric system was in pretty sketchy condition for years! 
Below are photos of  the light switch before and after the work.

He upgraded all the wiring in the barn. Yesterday my  husband and I were removing some of the old, decrepit wires. It was the old stuff that had black fiber wrapped around it.
  There are now two LED lights in  the main part of the barn that provide fabulous light, 
especially for working with paints and dyes. 
Can't wait to get out there and make fabric!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

New Quilt Top and Studio Barn Progress

I finished the quilt top I've been working over the last month or so. 
The pattern is called Nose to the Toes, by a company called Beyond the Reef.  I found it very challenging, and fun. 

Below is one of the 7 1/2 inch blocks.  In each block there are 14 pieces. It's one of those quilts where you cut a bunch of pieces, rearrange those pieces, sew a little here and there, 
do more rearranging as desired, etc., etc. 
And if you are like me, you do some deconstruction as well,
 until you get it how you want it. 
You put 4 of these together to create a 14 inch block and then put the the fourteen inch blocks together in three rows of three to create a 42 1/2 inch quilt top.

Below is the sink room in the barn studio. 
My husband did a great job with building the sink counter.
You get great views of vineyards and wineries from the windows
 on the north and east sides of the barn

In the picture below you can get an idea of how long the barn is. 
It is 40 feet long by 30 feet wide. 
We hired an electrician who should be done upgrading the electric system this next week.
Before too long, it should be ready to go.

To show you just how fun we've come on this project, below is the picture of the sink room from the day we had the cement floor poured. Look at those old doors!

Monday, December 3, 2018

New Quilt Planning and Piecing

I've been working on a new quilt from a pattern by Beyond the Reef company called Hang Ten,  Toes on the Nose  It's been quite challenging but fun. It's definitely kept my interest. 
With all the work we have been doing on cutting baseboards, plumbing, etc. trying to get our bathroom back to normal, after the flooding, I just needed a pattern to follow at this time. To make this pattern you start out with 10 inch squares which you cut into two 5 inch squares and some strips. You shuffle pieces and sew some pieces together, then cut, reshuffle, sew, and re-cut and shuffle, etc. I'm finally at the point where I can sew blocks together,
after having to deconstruct quite a few to get the color changes I wanted.

Couldn't resist taking pics of these gorgeous red leaves I saw in the street yesterday. 
Of course I had to pick some up to take home and press flat. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

More Embroidery and Some Carpentry

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I'm very thankful this Thanksgiving to have such great family and friends, 
to have a home, food,  and shelter. 
We are indeed very lucky!

Found some time amidst repairing and remodeling our bathroom (photos below) to do a little embroidery on my TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday)  project. I added the Buttonhole wheel cup stitch
 to  my buttonhole wheel flowers to give them some dimension.

I've been doing a lot of carpentry work to get our bathroom back to normal since we had our bathtub drain break in August.  Here are some  before and after pics.

Due to flooding and the mold that followed, we had to have the whole room basically gutted.

This weekend I finished the wainscoting under the window. I cut, painted and caulked the baseboards. We bought a vanity, that we really like, from American Oak Wholesalers on Ramada Drive in Paso Robles. It's real wood, not that cheap stuff they sell at the box stores that is contact paper over particle board.  My husband was amazing with hooking up the plumbing in very tight corners.

We did have the flooring and toilet installed by pros. 
That was not something we wanted to even attempt.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I've Been Published!

I've been published again by Quilting Arts Magazine!
 My article about using Itajime techniques to create patterns on cloth
 is in the new Quilting Arts IdeasBook.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Wearables Show at Studios on the Park

Yesterday, I visited Studios on the Park to check out the new wearables show there. This is the second time Julie Frankel, Melinda Forbes and friends have had a show there. The first one was just as fabulous. Each dress has a story. The show is up through the month of November. For more information visit Studios on the Park's website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pacific International Quilt Show Pictures

As usual, PIQF did not disappoint. Here are some pictures of quilts
 I really liked for one reason or another.

This was a wonderful, large quilt. I did not write down the artist's name
 and did not take a picture of the label because I was running out of photo storage on my phone.
 This artist's use of color and shape is fabulous.

Below is "She Persisted in Her Quest to Reach the Shore and Sing the Anthem of the Sea"
 by Sarah Ann Smith

Below is a closeup of the waves section.

The quilt below is by Kathryn Harmer Fox

Below is a closeup of her exquisite threadwork.

The quilt pictured above was part of the Drips and Spatters exhibit. I think it was by Deborah Weir, but could be wrong. If any of my viewers know who this artist is please let me know.

This beautifully painted and quilted piece above is by Judy Coates Perez, 
who always creates amazing pieces.

This piece by Israeli quilter, Rachel Steiner is called "Migrating Birds." The description said she discharged black fabric using a q-tip. Incredible!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Tucson Trip

It's been a little while since I last posted. Took a wonderful trip to Tucson, Arizona
 to see my best friends from high school. 
 We try to get together every five years. Needless to say, we had a great  visit.

This was one of the many beautiful, colorful murals we saw in Tucson.

This is Mission San Xavier del Bac, founded as a Catholic mission. Construction on the current church began in 1783. It has a very interesting history. To find out more about it, go to:

Very intricate carving and bric-a-brac galore!

It reminded me of Mission San Miguel, which is a few miles up the road from where I live. There's almost a gaudy quality to the interior.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Visit to Point Lobos

Earlier this month, my husband and I took a short trip to Carmel.
  It is one of the most beautiful areas in the whole country. 
We visited Point Lobos, which is spectacular!

Below is a picture of a very unusual plant with trumpet like blossoms that we saw in the Barynyard shopping center in Carmel. If anyone knows what the name of this plant is, 
please comment to let me know.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Arashi Shibori T Shirt with Fabric Paint

In my last post I wrote about the class Kathi and I taught using fabric paints to create wonderful textures and designs.  In the class I had unwrapped a T-shirt I had painted the day before using the arashi shibori technique, but with fabric paints instead of the dyes I usually use. I liked it except for a large white area that didn't get the paint.

So the next day, I rewrapped it around a larger cylinder, using an 8 inch diameter concrete form made of thick cardboard. This enabled me to stretch out the part of the T-shirt needing the pattern. I added the paint, continuing the lines from the rest of the shirt.  I think it turned out pretty good. The back is a little bit lighter than the front. So my conclusion is that paints are a little easier to use because you don't need to deal with chemicals and soda ash soaking, mixing powders, etc., but the dyes give you more intense colors because they penetrate the fabric more than the pain does.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Textures and More with Fabric Paints

This past Tuesday, Kathi Battles and I taught a class on using fabric paints. She is also a member of The Cutting Edge Fiber Arts group. These classes were taught at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, in conjunction with our Art Quilts exhibit.

 Below is a picture of Kathi teaching and demonstrating to everyone how to take advantage of the versatility of printing techniques one can use with the gelli printing plates.  Her enthusiasm was catching and students made some very. cool and complex, layered prints.

Here's everyone painting away!

I taught the first hour of the class showing how to use wet into wet watercolor techniques to create textures, followed by painting on dry fabric with a natural sponge  in an impressionistic style. This was followed by showing everyone how to do simple arashi shibori.

One of the cool things about using paint is you get two fabrics from the work of making one. One side is always lighter than the other.

We ran out of time and didn't get a chance to do the Itajime with paint. My sample is below. It is accordion folded first one way then the other way and clipped together with clothes pins. Paint is then brushed onto the fabric, getting into the folded layers. Let it dry, and unveil 
for some interesting patterns.

Below is a picture of all the fabrics drying.