Saturday, December 26, 2020

Finished Crocheted Fabric Strips Purse

 Yesterday I finished my crocheted fabric strips purse. This is the second one I've made. It has been a good COVID project because I could just grab my bag of supplies and tools and sit outside with different folks to enjoy catching up with them in a socially distanced manner. Due to the repetitive quality of crocheting or knitting a  large rectangle, it is a relaxing activity. 

It's fully lined with a inner pocket.  The step is done in macrame with cotton cord. I hadn't done any any macrame in twenty some years, but it came right back to me and was enjoyable to do. Below is a picture of the back side of the purse.


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Crocheted Purse from Leftover Quilt Fabrics

As with many quilters, I end up with mass quantities of leftover fabrics that are too small to fold up and store, but too nice to throw away.  I use them for making greeting cards and for crocheting purses, etc. For the purse I'm making now, I ripped strips from fabrics I've had forever, that don't interest me all that much any more. After crocheting them together, I needed to block the 'new fabric' because it was a bit 'wonky'. So here is my soon to be new purse stretched out on installation styrofoam drying and being stretch to a uniform size.  It's been one of those nice projects to keep handy in a bag and grab when I'm going out to sit and visit in the park with my friends social distancing during the pandemic.

Now I need to find some strong black upholstery trim to make the handle. Have been looking online but to no avail so far. We used to have two fabric/craft stores in San Luis Obispo that would have carried some but both are closed now. Might need to dye up some cotton canvas to use instead.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Fabric Christmas Cards

 Decided to play around with my many fabric scraps and make some Christmas cards. I glued scraps of fabric together on top of wax paper using gel medium and allowed them to dry. Next I cut Christmas tree shapes from the glued fabric strips. I cut sheet music that I bought at a thrift store many years ago for collage purposes and glued the fabric tree to that. Then it was glued to pre-made blank cards that I've had for years.

It was kind of fun to work in a different way and to make cards from materials I had. Sometimes I can't believe all the 'stuff' I have. I know many crafters and quilters like that. I don't want anything for Christmas this year (except for COVID to disappear). We've asked our children to not buy us anything this Christmas and to instead give to the local food bank or another worthy charity.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Ice Dyeing

 A few days ago I had some more fun with ice dyeing. It was a beautiful fall day and I hadn't been out to my lovely studio barn in awhile. The shirt below had been dyed previously and also had some stencil painting done on it, but I was still not crazy about it. The colors came out so intense. I love it now! 

I try to swim three times a week at an outdoor pool to help with my back pain. It's been a little bit chilly lately getting in and especially out of the pool so I bought a white terry cloth robe to keep me warm.  You know me, I couldn't keep all that fabric just plain white! It was a little bit challenging working with this amount of thick, wet fabric. I'm very pleased with the end result. I feel like I'm wearing Joseph's multi-colored coat! It's lovely to wrap up in after getting out of the pool.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Finished Sewing New Quilt top


    I Just finished sewing together all the blocks for my challenge quilt. I belong to an art quilting group called Cutting Edge and we decided to make quilts to show our own personal journey with racism.  I wrote about this in my last blog post, with a picture and explanation of  the center block.  Some of the pictures are from my senior yearbook which gives you an idea of how
 few Black girls were 'integrated' into our school. About sixteen into 850 some White girls.
It couldn't have been easy for them, to say the least. For me,  it was the first time 
I had ever met or talked to a Black person. I had seen Black people when we went to downtown Milwaukee to see our dentist or go shopping. But there were no Black people in our neighborhood.
For the 2020/2021 school year, Divine Savior/Holy Angels
 reports that 28% of the students are students of color.

The other pictures show some of the many marches and protests of those times. There's even a picture of  National Guard tanks on the streets of Milwaukee from the summer of 1967.  Although that is considered the 'summer of love' it was also the summer of hate and discrimination in Milwaukee and other cities. There were 199 consecutive days and nights of marches to protest unfair housing practices (Redlining)  and school bussing and segregation. Fr. Groppi was one of the leaders of the protests.
Pictures are courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal, 
Wisconsin Black Historical Society, Milwaukee Public Library
 and the Milwaukee Journal /Sentinel.

As time went on and I lived in other areas of the world and country I had Black coworkers, friends, and boyfriends. I currently live in a county where Blacks make up only 2% and Latinos 23%.
Wauwatosa where I grew up is currently 86% white with 5% black. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

New Quilt Challenge

      It's been a while since I last posted anything. I've been busy working on a new quilt for a challenge from my Cutting Edge group.  The topic being, My Personal Journey with Racism.  This challenge has been very thought provoking, to say the least.

      I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the age of five, our family moved to Wauwatosa, a suburb of Milwaukee. You might have noticed that Wisconsin, especially Kenosha and Wauwatosa, have been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons.  There have been a couple of what appears to be racially motivated incidents of police killing young Black men. The September 24th New York Times reported that Milwaukee is among the most racially segregated counties in the United States. 

     After grade school, I attended Divine Savior High School. Sixteen courageous black girls entered Divine Savior-Holy Angels high school in September of 1969. They 'integrated' into the 850 some white girls.There were four Black girls to approximately 220 white girls in each of the four grade levels.They came from Holy Angels High School which was located in the 'inner city' of Milwaukee. The two schools merged that year due to decreasing enrollments at both schools and a decrease in the number of teaching nuns. 

     One day in religion class, Gwen, one of the Black girls was drawing on her hand with white chalk. When Sr. Mary Margaret asked her, "Gwen, what are you doing?" She responded, "I'm just trying to fit in Sister." That really struck me and still does. What was it like for these girls to be so outnumbered by white girls?

I'm still working on assembling some of the other blocks for this quilt, 
but thought I'd post a picture of this one. My husband photographed my hands in the position above, showing one hand drawing on the other with chalk. 
I then used Photoshop to modify the photo. The writing in the background was hand lettered
 and printed to organza, then fused to the  photo.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Coronavirus Quilt

Our Cutting Edge Fiber Arts Group will have a virtual exhibit at PIQF this year

 with Coronavirus as the topic.  Here is the quilt I made for the exhibit.

Above is a picture of the whole quilt and below is a closeup, 
so you can see the embroidery details better.

The printing process I chose to create the fabric for this quilt resembles the way the corona virus has spread, which is mostly through air-borne droplets from people who are in close contact with each other. The blocks in this quilt were created through a method called ‘dendritic or fractal monoprinting.’  Paint was applied to a piece of glass. Another piece of glass was then pressed firmly to the painted plate, causing the paint to spread and create the branch-like patterns known as dendrites or fractals. Fabric is then placed on top of the glass paint and light pressure is applied by hand.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Arashi Shibori, Morning Glories and Fiery Sunsets

 My Morning Glories are just beautiful this year. They are always such a surprise. Between all the gophers, draught, horrible air quality due to the raging fires in our area, they are a real delight right now.

Here's a new arashi shibori piece I did this week.  I used two different blacks to try to get a true black. In this photo, it looks pretty black, but in person, it has more of a very dark blue tint to it. I'm thinking of adding more pattern to it with some discharge dyeing.

The many fires burning in all directions from our home, created this incredible sunset Sunday night.
Praying for all the firefighters and people whose homes have been lost in these horrible fires.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

More Fabulous Fun with Fabric Paints

Had a lot of fun painting on fabric in my studio barn this past weekend. 
 Here are some of the fabrics I made.

I did a couple Arashi shibori pieces, wrapping the fabric around a wine bottle, then brushing fabric paint on the protruding folded edges.

Above are the finished, ironed pieces. I love how three dimensional they look, even after ironing.

The above piece was first sun-printed and then I silk-screened one of my favorite poems
 by Langston Hughes on top of it.

The piece above and below were made by splattering, splotching and, scrunching.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

New Itajime Quilt

I finished a new art quilt this last week.  It was made from a piece of shibori itajime fabric I made in September of 2014. Itajime is a Japanese shibori technique where fabric is folded and clamped to resist dyes, thus creating patterns.  Prior to using the itajime technique on it, I had low immersion dyed it and stamped it as well. If you want to see more about this fabric just click on my blog posts from September 2014.

Below is a closeup showing the overall spiral quilting designs. 
I used a walking foot very slowly and carefully.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Using Fabric Scraps to Create Cards

One of my friends was commenting on how I hadn't posted in a couple weeks, so I thought I better put something together to show I'm not being a lazy slug. I am finding it a bit difficult to focus on any longterm projects. But I have been doing a little crocheting, and making some cards to send to people in need of them. It's a good way to use up my many scraps.

I layer some fabric strips, weaving them in and out of each other and then start free motion quilting over part of the card. Then I add in more, do more sewing, etc., etc.

They're kind of fun and much faster than making a quilt and just feels right for these times.
I did get into my studio today to do some dyeing, so should be showing the results of those
 later this week.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Dendritic Monoprint Art Quilt

I cut up my latest dendritic mono prints into four inch blocks and used them as a border to the smaller blocks previously. The creating of any art fabric is the most exciting part for me.  This is my piece for  the "Tradition with a Twist" challenge that my Cutting Edge Fiber Art Group is doing. 
I feel the traditional part is the cutting of fabric into blocks and sewing them together like four patch or nine patch quilts, etc. The 'twist' is in using non-traditional hand-printed fabric
 for the blocks to create an art quilt.

I machine and hand quilted the blocks and am adding some hand embroidery
 here and there to further enhance the quilt.

Monday, June 1, 2020

More Fun with Dendritic Monoprinting

I sewed together the cut up dendritic prints made earlier. 
I then decided the piece needed to be larger, 
so painted another piece of fabric.

I painted this by thoughtfully adding acrylic paint to the dampened fabric, then accordion folded it. Next I added more paint to the tops of the folds and put it outside to dry.

This is what it looked like when it dried.

This is after ironing it. I love 
how the folds look so dimensional.

Here it is after doing dendritic mono printing on it.
I used two of my large 12 1/2 inch square acrylic quilting rulers on which to spread the paint
 to create the prints.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Fun with Flower Pounding and Dendritic Mono Printing

I've been playing around with printing techniques the last couple of weeks.  One of my friends in my Cutting Edge group had been talking about doing some flower pounding so I checked that out.

These are geranium petals, which released some beautiful deep colors.

I added some colored pencil details to them, then ended up smudging them, 
then had to bleach out the smudges, which left some yellowing. 
Then I had to rinse out the bleach so it wouldn't eat up the fabric. So now I'm back to paler colors and will need to pound some more petals on them. 
Live and learn!   
From what I read online, I should have soaked my fabric in alum first, which may have helped. 
I will sure give that a try next time.

 Then I moved on to making dendritic mono prints. You may be thinking, what the heck are those?
Dendritic means "Of pertaining to, or resembling a dendrite. A Dendrite is a mineral crystallizing in another mineral in the form of a branching or treelike mark. or a branched part of a nerve cell that transmits impulses toward the cell body.
A mono print is a form of printmaking where the image can only be made once, as opposed to other printmaking which allows for multiple originals. We created some of these in Betty Busby's class last year and it was great fun. It also brought back some great memories of making these in an introductory printing class at Cardinal Stritch college, many moons ago.

I first applied thick acrylic paint, from a squeeze bottle,  to a piece of plexiglass. 
Next, I placed another piece of plexiglass on top and pressed down which squished the paint
 to form an abstract design. 
Then I carefully inserted a pallet knife between the two pieces of plexiglass to separate them.
The pressure of pulling the two pieces of plexiglass apart raises the paint 
into these cool dendrite forms.
Next, I carefully laid a piece of cotton on top of each side and gently pressed with my hand to  capture the design you see in the photo below.

Below are three dendritic prints made previously in Betty Busby's class.

After my dendritic prints dried, 
I painted them to match the background colors of the ones made in Betty's class.

Here are my prints drying outside.

The following day I put them up on my design wall and thought,
 "what the heck can I do with these?"
After playing around with them for awhile, I decided to cut them into squares and rearrange them.  Now I am in the process of sewing them together.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

New Shirts and Masks

One of my dear friends is moving to Oregon to be closer to her family. She is a wonderful woman and I will miss her. So I wanted to send her off with a dyed shirt. I made two so she could have a choice of what she would prefer.
Below is an accordion folded and banded shirt ready for dyeing. 
This is the one she ended up choosing.

I used Robin's Egg, Turquoise and Cobalt.

Below is the other shirt, which was pole wrapped, arashi shibori style, ready for dyeing.

On this one I used Robin's Egg, Turquoise, Cerulean, Light Red, and Orchid.

Below are some more masks I whipped up to give to friends
 and others in need.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Reopening the Studio Barn and Ice Dyeing

This week I got out to the studio barn, and did a thorough sweeping, cleaning, and scrubbing. Originally I was scheduled to teach a dyeing class
 to members of our Almond Country Quilt Guild on  May 2nd.
Of course that needed to be canceled, but hopefully it will be rescheduled
 for another time after the pandemic.

Below is a shirt for my hubby. I tried an S Curve folding method that was described
 on a tie dye YouTube video  by Krispi.
  He has some great videos. I really love how the colors and designs came out!
Top photo is the front and below that is the back of the shirt.

I've been collecting old, lovely linen fabrics.
 And I've been given some wonderful ones from friends as well.
 Some of them have beautiful embroidery, cut work, etc.
 As you can see, the linen takes really well to the dyes.

....and another beautiful one!

Hope everyone is doing well out there and keeping safe! 
Looking forward to teaching classes in the barn at some time again!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

I've been busy making more masks for friends, family and others.
These are made using a different pattern than the ones I previously made and showed on my blog. They fit your face a little bit tighter. 
For these I used a pattern from Orange Dot Quilts. If you go to their website you can download the mask pattern for free.If you do that, be sure to check out their Facebook page for a very helpful video as well for how to do the folding part.

  It's working out for me because it doesn't require an extended length of time or concentration.
 My husband is still recovering from his two surgeries and needing a lot of assistance. 
He continues to improve a little bit every day, so that is good!
Can't wait until he's back to normal. You never realize how much your hubby does, 
until he can't do anything. 

Last night the sky was incredibly beautiful in the East and the West.