Friday, December 11, 2009

Let It Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Just a quick shot of what it looks like outside. Thought the birdhouse looked cute out in the snow.
Finally, here you go Kara, my challenge quilt all put together. Mine is on the top that all the others hang from. Starting from the left is: Anita's, Marilyn's, top: Susan's, botttom: Lynn's and the final one on the left, Carmen's. I found copper colored circles with holes in them to hang everything from. I really like the way it came out.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Fiber Diva's Challenge Quilts

Here are the quilts that we had displayed at the exhibit at the Gilford Library. I remembered to take pictures when we took it down. This first one is Anita's her theme was Ecclesiastes 3. Starting at the top and going clockwise, the quilts were made by: Susan Wei, Marilyn Mason, Lynn Elkinton, Carmen Burns and mine is in the middle. Anita wasn't able to make one for her theme.

This one is Marilyn's. Her theme was sashiko. Unfortunately, you can't see the stitches in this picture. The stitching really adds a lot to these pieces. Starting at the top left and once again going clockwise: Anita Furbush, Marilyn, Susan, Lynn, Carmen and mine. I have some other pictures that show the stitching, I'll try to get them posted in the next couple of days.

This one was Lynn's. Her theme was a song that had to do with rolling down the river or something. I can't remember exactly made which one but I'll try. Once again starting in the upper left: Susan?, Anita?, me, Carmen, Marilyn?, and Lynn.
These two photos are Carmen's. Her theme was also Ecclesiastes 3:1. Upper left: Anita, Upper right: Lynn, Lower left: Marilyn and Lower right Susan. I didn't take a picture of mine. If you want to see it again you can go here.

This next one is Susan's. Her theme was The Moon. Starting at the slice with the 2 people and going clockwise: Susan, me, Lynn, Marilyn and Carmen. Susan's actual piece hangs sort of like a mobile but to display it at the library, she had to display it like this.
I don't have a picture of mine yet. It was too big to get a picture at the library and I need to get it hung up on the wall to get a good picture. I will get it taken tomorrow after work. Sorry Kara! I know you wanted to see it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Follow Me Blind

Here's a new piece I've been working on. It started as part of a 5 day Follow Me Blind Challenge on Fiber Art Traders. Each day we had directions to follow without knowing what we would be doing the next. Day one we picked a piece of fabric and had to do some sort of surface design. I just used a piece of my hand-painted fabric. The second day we layered it with batting and quilted a piece of synthetic sheer fabric to the top. Then we used a heat gun to melt the sheer. I have been wanting to try that for a long time but never got around to it until now.
Day 3 we cut it up, rearranged it and sewed it to a backing fabric. Day 4 we embellished. I beaded it and made little green x out of some silk embroidery thread. Today is day 5 and we are now supossed to put a new backing on to cover up the stitching and then fold and manipulate it into some type of vessel. I'm not going to do this since I'm not really into make vessels. Maybe if I had a place to display stuff but I don't so it would just get put away and forgotten. I think I will cut the piece out of the felt and then mount it somehow to an artists canvas. I don't know if I will get a canvas that is already stretched and paint it then attatch this or get stretcher bars and sew this to a piece of black fabric and then attatche the fabric to the stretcher bars. I'm also thinking of extending the beading and x's off of the quilt and onto the background.
I really like the way this has come out and want to try doing some more pieces like this. It looks much better in person.

Friday, November 06, 2009

More Playing

I spent some more time playing. This piece turned out sort of balh, but at least I'm playing and trying some new things. I used 2 layers of white fabric on this quilt. The bottom layer was a heavier fabric. After stitching the design and practicing more free motion quilting, I cut out the top layer of fabric from the circles. Then I dyed the quilt by applying the colors directly to the quilt surface. Once I rinsed it out, I found I had tried to use too many colors and they didn't blend well. Decided to dye the whole piece in red dye. It helped but I still didn't really like it. I decided to cut the fabric out of the "stems" don't really know what to call them. I found it interesting that the fabric that was on the bottom, didn't take the red dye a lot. I'm thinking of experimenting with oil paint sticks to color the circles or maybe I'll try rollering color on like Linda and Laura Kemshall show in their book "The Painted Quilt".

I'm really trying to let go and experiment with different techniques and not worry about if they will turn out or not. I need to learn to let go and try new things or practice things I don't do well, like free motion stitching.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Play Time

I've just been playing the last couple of days. No finished projects. In the top piece, I practiced free motion quilting. Need lots of practice with that!!! I decided to use a drawing from my sketchbook that I'd like to turn into a hanging. I used white fabric and with inspiration from "Stitching to Dye in Quilt Art" by C June Barnes, I dyed the piece after doing all the free motion stitching. Even though this isn't a great work of art, I decided to add the beads to start getting an idea of where I want to go with it. On the right hand side, I used some spacer beads from a bead shop that was in town that is now out of business and now I used the last of these. I tried to find some on-line but haven't had any luck. These ones were gun metal gray. I also picked up some in bronze and one other metal color. I love using these in small projects and wish I had some more. I did find some that are similar in gold and silver but nothing like what I have here.

This piece, I was just playing with my hand felter. I really would like an embellisher but I will make due with felting by hand at this point. I used wool roving, sheer fabrics and yarns. I wanted to just practice blending them together to see what I could do other than just making rows like I did in these hangings. One of the things I like about felting with different materials is all the different textures you can get into a piece.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Book

I don't have any new work to show but I ran across this book, "Stitching to Dye", by C June Barnes. I don't know if it has been reviewed anywhere and I just missed it but this book is great!!! She creates quilts with different white fabrics, stitches it, manipulates it and creates texture in the fabric then dyes it. The pieces she shows in the book are wonderful. So much color and texture. So many possibilities to play with!! I love her use of zippers in her work.
If you haven't seen her work go here to her website.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Felting Experiments

I felted these 2 pieces back in May but never decided how to finish them. Here's where I posted about them. I made them after watching a couple segments on Quilting Arts TV about needle felting. On the show, they used an embellisher machine but I did these with a hand felter. I was playing with felting different fabrics and yarns to painted cotton batting.
These were really fun to make. Just playing no thinking. They've been sitting around since then because I just couldn't decide how to finish them. I finally decided to sew them onto a piece of black felt. I started out with a rectangular piece of felt but it just didn't look right. So, I cut the black felt about 1/2" beyond the felted piece. Looks much better. This gives it a much more finished look.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Foliage Pictures

Between work and rain, I didn't have a chance to go out and take some pictures of the fall colors until yesterday. There won't be too many more days to take any. The colors around here are just about past their peak. I thought Kara might like to see what it looks like back home now.

These were all taken on one of my favorite roads near our house, Old Hebron Road.

Kara, this picture on top is from Old Hebron Road looking towards Texas Hill Road, somewhere near the christmas tree farm.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fiber Diva's Exhibit

Here are some pictures of the Fiber Divas Exhibit at the Gilford Public Library. Thanks you Lynn for letting me use them!!! The library has a great area for displays and exhibits. These are the first two cases you see as you walk into the exhibit area (not really sure what else you would call this space. Having the glass cases made it really great for displaying small items. Besides the quilts, we also have sewing items like colorful spools of thread, pincushions, chatelains (not sure of the spelling), felted wool balls and fabric beads. These small things are spread out among the 3 cases. The case in the corner has Susan's challenge quilt which had moon as the theme. She also has 2 three dimensional pieces in there. Lynn has 2 pieces on top of the case.

This case is the biggest and has my circle themed challenge piece at the top. You can see the 5 pieces the other Fiber Divas made that are hanging off of my piece. At the bottom is Lynn's challenge piece. I can't remember the words from the song she used for her theme but it had to do with a river. Sorry Lynn!! She also gave each of us a piece of blue fabric that we all thought was really pretty and then found out it was one of the hardest shades of blue to work with!!! We all managed to get a piece of that blue fabric in there somehow. On top of the case is a purse I made and a mixed media piece I made also. Lynn has a couple of her quilts in the bottom of the case.

Closeup of Susan's quilt above the fireplace at the library. I will have to get the name of the quilt from her since I can't remember it and add it later. Ok, somehow I've lost the picture showing the quilt and all of the fireplace.

Here is the 3rd case in the display area. This has Anita's challenge quilt in the top. Her theme was Ecclesiastes 3:1. Marilyn's challenge piece is in the bottom half of the case. Her theme was Sashiko. I wish I had remembered to take pictures of everyones quilts before we put them in the cases. I'll have to remember to take some when we take the exhibit down. I have a couple of quilts laying on the bottom of the case and Lynn has the 2 pieces on top of the case.

Here is Carmen's challenge piece. Her theme was Ecclesiastes 3:1 also. There are only 5 pieces here. Carmen didn't get a chance to make one for her challenge.

Here's a closeup of 4 of the pieces. Left to right are: Marilyn Mason, Susan Wei, Anita Furbush and mine. Lynn Elkinton's is the one missing from this picture.

If anyone is near Gilford, NH, stop by the Gilford Public Library and see the exhibit. It will be up for the month of October and it looks like the exhibit for November fell through and we will be up for November too.

Gilford Public Library
31 Potter Hill Road
Gilford, NH 03249

M, W, Fri 9am-6pm
T and Th 10am-8pm
Sat 10am-2pm

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Two More Circle Quilts and Geocaching

Here is the quilt I did for my "Going in Circles" theme. It makes me think of pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. This is 7"x39". I had to make it really long because all the other circle quilts hang off of it. It looks really great with all 6 quilts put together. I found copper colored metal circles to attach the quilts together.

This is Carmen's quilt for my circle theme. I love all the machine quilting in the background.

A closeup of Carmen's piece.

Melanie, you asked what geocaching was. We use a GPS to find hidden caches all over the place. These caches are lock n lock boxes, ammo boxes or some other type of box that will keep the inside dry. Inside is a log book that you sign when you find it and some little trinkets that you can trade for. We go to the geocaching site (click on the above link) to find coordinates for caches that are hidden all over the world. I found a couple on my way back from taking Kara to college. It is fun and something that the family can do together and we get to explore places we never would have gone to before or never knew they existed. We've been doing this for 4 1/2 years now.
Sharon, I found 2 out of 3 caches that day. Of course, the one I couldn't find, my husband said was easy to find.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Geocaching Days

I had last Thursday and Friday off work and managed to do a little geocaching. Both days were really nice. The trees are starting to turn color. My pictures are a little out of order. These first 3 were taken in Hebron, NH on Friday. There is a marsh here with a couple walking trails. I took Ginger with me.


There was an old apple tree. I tried to get some nice pictures of the apples but between the wind and Ginger pulling on the leash, this was the only one that wasn't blurry.

On Thursday, Gary, Ginger and I went geocaching and ran into this little guy. I don't like snakes but think their patterning is neat. Ginger kept trying to sniff it. I was waiting for her to get bitten on the nose!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Play Day with the Fiber Divas

I meant to post these pictures a while ago. The Fiber Divas had a play day and tried gelatin monoprinting. We took the idea from the August/September 2009 Quilting Arts. Frances Holliday Alford, had an article about monoprinting.

To make the smaller monoprints, above, I cut the gel with a biscuit cutter.

We found that the monoprints came out really cool on black fabric.

This was a really fun project and could get really addicting!!! Before I knew it, I had a good size pile of monoprints. It was interesting to see how different each divas monoprints came out. Now, I just need to find some time to embellish these and decide what I am going to do with them.

To make these bigger round monoprints, I set up the gelatin in a 9" cake pan.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Carmen's Challenge Quilt

I finally finished Carmen's quilt for this years challenge. Her theme was Ecclesiastes 3:1, " There is a time for everything and a season for every purpose under heaven." The name of my quilt is "Letting Go" I thought it was appropriate with Kara going off to college.
Here's a closeup of the piece.

Ok, Can anyone tell me why I keep getting parts of my text that is underlined. I don't know how to get rid of the underlining and as I typed, it just stopped. I don't know what I did but it started back up under the second picture and stopped again. Again I don't know what made it stop.

Kara is now at Houghton College. She and I had a good 10 hour drive out there. I took 2 days driving home and had a sort of vacation for myself. Although it does seem strange without her here at home, I think we are adjusting. We bought a webcam so we can talk to her on the computer. Alex started his freshman year in high school and is really surprising us so far. He seems to be taking on more responsibility for himself this year. We'll see how it keeps going.

We are moving Kara's stuff out of her room and moving Alex into it. It's time Alex has a real room to himself and not just the loft. We are planning on painting the loft once it gets all cleaned out and putting new flooring in it. I'm thinking of a nice green color. It has to be a color that both Kara and I like since the loft will be my workroom and Kara's room when she is home. It will be nice to get all my stuff out of the livingroom.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Anita's Quilt

I finally finished Anita's quilt for the Fiber Divas challenge. I can't believe how long it took me. I thought Anita and Carmen's theme would be easy for me. Was I wrong!! Both of them picked the same theme, Ecclesiastes 3:1. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." This was my third attempt at Anita's. I do have an idea for Carmen's. Just need to get moving on it! We were supposed to have these done back in June. At least I'm not the only one still working. Once I finish Carmen's I can start working on mine and putting all the pieces I've received together.

Here's a closeup of a couple of the trees. I used two pieces of Elin Nobles fabric for the background. The blue one, Anita supplied. The gold bottom piece was some that I had. I put a piece of painted cheesecloth over the top to help blend the two pieces together. It gives it a sort of painted look.

We haven't had much of a summer here. Just a lot of rain. My garden is water logged and starting to rot. I'm finally starting to get some cherry tomatoes but I don't know if my big tomatoes will ever ripen. They are rotting before they get ripe. We have a lot of flowers we started but we never got the chance to plant them!

I'm getting ready to take a class at the World Quilt and Textile Show in Manchester. I'm taking "Up Close and Personal" with Rosalie Dace. I'm really looking forward to it. Just wish I could go down the day before and stay over night like I usually do. But it just isn't in the budget this year. So I will get up at 0'dark thirty (5:30am) so I can be down to Manchester and all set up by 9am. At least I'm used to getting up early but it will be a really long ride home that evening and I won't be able to take my time looking around the show. Might not get to see everything. Might be a good thing, I won't be tempted to spend money at the vendors booth, if I don't have the time to look.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

More from Jane LaFazio's Class

Here's another piece from Jane LaFazio's class, Mixed Media with Paper & Cloth, at Joggles I still need to find something to put in the center where the 4 squares meet. I also need to decide if I want to frame it or figure out some other way to display it. Jane had a piece like this in
Cloth Paper Scissors. I forget which issue.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some New Pieces for the Fiber Divas Challenge

I'm behind getting work done for the Fiber Divas Challenge this year. I finished up Lynn's a while ago but just hadn't got around to posting it. I finished up Susan's piece last week for the meeting on Friday and I wasn't able to make it. Susan's theme was the Moon. I decided to make mine "Howling at the Moon" All her pieces were pie shaped.
This is Lynn's piece. Her theme was based on a song. I can't remember what the name was but it had to do with going down the river. We each had a piece of blue fabric that Lynn gave us to use. We all agree that it is the hardest piece of fabric to match. I finally strip pieced the background and then covered it with painted cheesecloth to blend all the blues together. I then couched and needle felted yarns and fibers to the top. The leaf, I cut out of painted Lutrador.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Small Piece and Graduation

Here's a piece I'm working on in Jane LaFazio's class. I have another one that I'm working on but don't have a picture yet.
I kept forgetting to post this. This was Kara's graduation. She was the valadictorian and did a great speech. She was very nervous but you would never have known it, she came across as very confidant. She worked very hard to be valadictorian!! That will be the last time we see her in a dress for a long time!! Alex is standing with her. He's off on his 8th grade class trip to Montreal tomorrow and he has 8th grade graduation on Friday.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Jane Lafazio's Class

I'm taking Jane Lafazio's class "Mixed Media with Paper & Cloth" from Joggles. I saw her episode on Quilting Arts TV 300 and loved her mixed media work. When I found out she was teaching this class at Joggles, I just had to take it. One splurge this year since I am cutting back on what I spend and trying to use what I have on hand.

This week we started making the backgrounds for our pieces. I was good and used what I had on hand. I used white on white fabric instead of artist canvas. I also used my fabric paints instead of acrylics. I did use gesso (had that on hand too).

I stenciled, stamped, sponged, used found object what ever I could think of to try. I love the look of the torn pieces that have been sewn back to gether on Janes work, so I tore my fabric up and sewed it back together. Made some irregular pieces.

This piece with the leaves, I experimented with freezer paper stencils. It worked out good. I think I will make this design into a stamp so I don't have to keep remaking in out of freezer paper when I want to use it.

This piece I'm not so thrilled with, I'll have to see what I can do to it. Or maybe it won't matter so much as we start the next steps.
I have trouble making packground pieces. They always seem to end up brighter than i intend. I'd love to make some more backgrounds but my in-laws are here for Kara's graduation so I have a lot to do and had to clean up my work area.
Kara is all finished with school. She has high enough grades that she doesn't have to take any finals and she is valedictorian!!! She has worked hard for this!!! Alex is a little jealous since the focus is more on her right now even though his birthday is on Sunday. We will have a nice birthday dinner on Friday night while Gary's parents are still here. Alex graduates 8th grade on the 19th. BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!!!!