Saturday, November 23, 2013

Something Different

I've been playing with something new. I've wanted to make some jewelry that uses fabric and other fibers but doesn't look crafty.  I've been looking at different jewelry blogs, sites and tutorials and have found I like pieces that use a combination of beads, fiber, and metal. I've been practicing with copper wire. I didn't make the wire rings in the necklace.They are soldered closed and I don't solder - yet.  Looks fun though.

I have another piece that I've started. It has a wire and bead Christmas tree pendant I made. I have some red frosted beads to go with it and I was looking through all my stuff and found some old white shell buttons that look really neat with it. Just have to figure out how I'm going to put it together. Of course, just like quilting, I can't follow someone else's design or pattern, I have to design my own.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Project

I've been experimenting again. I started with these glue resist pieces and added some black, red and yellow paint to them. 

I took some commercial fabrics and wrote and scribbled on them with sharpies and paint. I used these to write down any thing that popped into my mind about how I'm feeling about Gary's illness. Then I cut them up into thin strips and fused those to the top.

I added some stitching and here is what it looks like now. Not quite finished yet.

I also made this piece of glue resist fabric. I experimented with using a paint marker to draw on it. It seemed to work well. I tried a few lines before I painted it and it doesn't seem to run. It comes in other colors so I'll have to see what I can do with these. Can't remember the name of them and they are way downstairs.

And a fun picture to end the post with. Riley having a bad hair day, although it doesn't look as bad as it did in person.

Monday, October 28, 2013

More Glue Resist

I thought I'd better post something since I haven't for a while. My husband has been going through some health issues for over a year now that is the main reason I haven't posted more often. His health issues are on going. I've also been trying to work all the hours I can at the bakery. I've been doing a lot more cake decorating which is fun. It's the most creative part of the bakery work and I really enjoy it. Just wish it paid a little more.

I've been so stressed and tired lately that I haven't finished any projects. My mind can't seem to focus, I start one thing and then my mind wanders to another idea and I'm off on something new. Or I get to a certain point and can't seem to make up my mind on what to do next or what the piece needs, so I'm off to something new. At least it keeps my mind and hands busy. I find just playing with surface design to be the best thing to work on since I don't have to think about it. I don't worry about messing up something that I've spent a lot of time on. 

I have been doing some more playing with glue resist. My friend, Anita, picked up a couple boxes of this heavier weight canvas type material at a second hand store. She gave me a bunch a while ago and I've been playing with that. Wanted to see how the glue resist would react with the heavier fabric.
I really like the results. 

This was the first piece I tried. I used the washable clear glue. It was runnier than the other two washable kinds I tried, so I thought it would have a better chance of going through the fabric. It did go through but as you can see, some of the paint colored that areas where the paint was. I really like this effect. This fist one, I dried all scrunched up. All the rest I let dry flat. You can see a difference in the results.

Seeing how the glue spread on the first piece, I wondered what would happen if I put the glue on a piece of fabric that was hanging up. It did just what I wanted. The glue ran down the fabric. I didn't like the horizontal line on top where I had placed the glue so.......

I decided to try applying the glue in spots. This fabric was a regular piece of pfd. You can see how the glue penetrated the fabric better and the fabric stayed white.  I love looking at rain running down a window, and have wondered how I could get that effect on fabric. This might work.

These next ones were playing with on of my favorite shapes, circles. This one I hung up after applying the glue. You can see how the glue ran before it dried.

This, I just decided to make lines.

This one I really like, I wanted to play with a bigger circles. This reminds me of  ripples on water. Lots of possibilities here. 

Since this is a heavier fabric, I will have to rethink how I use it. Can't really cut it up and sew it back together and quilt it. I think it would work nicely in collage pieces. Need to get some more of the glue. I used up what I had. Also need more paint. I used dyna-flo and transparent fabric paints. I've been needing to use some of these up since they are so old some of them aren't usable any more.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I Won Sarah Ann Smith's new Quilting Arts workshop

What a great surprise I had today.  I won a copy of Sarah Ann Smith's new Quilting Arts Workshop from Jamie Fingal's blog. Various artists and quilters are having a blog hop and giveaway for Sarah's workshop. If you would like a chance to win a copy, go to Sarah's blog and find out who is next on the blog hop.

Can't wait to watch this. sounds like I can learn a lot from it.

Monday, August 05, 2013

More Gel Resist Fabrics

These are some more glue resist fabrics. I used hand-dyed fabrics, Elmer's blue glue gel, and Dye-na-flow paint. I like this first one. 

These next 2 ended up with lots of blobs on them. I think I was trying to do too much and the glue got heavy in areas. It also didn't help that I was trying to find something and set a book down on top of the blue one! 

I applied the glue gel on a flat surface so I'm wondering if that helped the blobs spread. Maybe if I try stretching it over a frame so that the fabric isn't sitting on a surface but is suspended. Something new to try.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Playing with Paint

Recently I bought Screen Printing Sampler by Jane Dunnewold and Quilting Arts. In it she mentions using washable Elmers Glue as a resist on a screen. I decided to try it. I had heard of using it as a resist on fabric like you do with soy wax. Decided to have some fun and experiment. 

As you can see, this first one isn't a resist. This was a black and white jacket that I picked up at a thrift store to take apart for quilting. I decided to see how it would turn out if I painted it. The fabric is reversible . You can see the back of it in the lower right corner. 

This piece, I used the glue as a resist on the fabric and painted it with fabric paint. I did a second layer of resist and paint.

This is another piece with the resist on the fabric. I started with a piece of dyed fabric and painted over it with Dynaflo. To do a lot of resist with the gel, my hand got pretty tired. I don't know if that was because my bottle of glue had been sitting around for a while. I also would like to find out if Elmers washable white glue is any different. If you don't have patience, this technique would not be for you since you have to wait for the glue to dry before you can paint. If you want to to do layers of resist and paint, it can take a long time. Soy wax is faster since the was dries very quickly but it's not as easily available for me as the glue.  Not when you want to try it right now! The glue washed out of the fabric pretty easily. I even put it between paper and ironed it before I washed it, to set the paint. 

This next one is the first piece I tried screen printing. I made a pattern on the screen and let it dry. Once again you have to wait for it to dry before you can print. I used fabric paint again. I don't really like the hard edges you get with this. I don't know if I'd use this a lot for screen printing. I think I'd rather have a circle thermofax made so I was printing the circles instead of the background. I also didn't realize the red paint was opaque (need to read the bottle before using!) and it gave the fabric a heavy plastic feel. 

This is another one I tried with the screen. Once again, the blue was and opaque color and felt a lot heavier. 

After I washed it out and was looking at it, I realized that I had screen printed the blue on the wrong side of the fabric. The green and yellow had been printed on this side.  Once again, I don't like the hard edges. Waste of time and fabric? No, I learned I don't like it and gained some experience. 

This was a different screen I made. I like the way the paint acted a little better in this one. The top one I used a transparent blue on the red and the bottom was a transparent black on red. I also tried to overlap the screen when I printed.

I have some other pictures to show you but I will wait till another day.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fabric Weaving

I have some new things I've been working on but haven't had a chance to take any pictures. This picture I took a while ago but haven't had a chance to post it. In the current issue of  Art Quilting Studio, by Stampington, there was an article on woven pieces. I thought it would be fun to try and something I could do while relaxing and trying to stay cool in the heat wave we had a couple of weeks ago. I also thought this would give me a chance to use new colors. I've been challenging myself to try lighter and softer colors than I usually use. I'm all done with the top, I just need to decide how I want to display it. 

Marilyn and I have had a couple of fun outings this summer. Most of the Fiber Divas are so busy this summer that I can't get together, so Marilyn and I decided we would just plan some things and who ever could make it was welcome to come. One of our trips was down to Lowell Mass to the New England Quilt Museum. Lynn Decker went with us. Susan was supposed to go but wasn't feeling well and stayed home. We had lunch at a Greek restaurant that is within walking distance of the museum. We also stopped at Friends Fabric Art and found a few things we just could't live without. A very inspirational day. Of course, I had planned to have some pictures, but left my camera at home.
A couple of weeks later Marilyn and I planned a trip to the Quilted Threads quilt shop. We'd heard that it was really nice so decided to check it out. Anita was able to join us. We all managed to find some solids in the sale room. We also picked up some fabric that is cotton and silk. Can't remember the name. We bought some white to try dyeing. I love their selection of Japanese fabrics. Wish I could have afforded some of those. We ate at a little cafe in Henniker called St George's Cafe. The food was really good. Big sandwiches!!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Raised Flower Beds

Here's the quilt top I've been working on. It sort of makes me think of flowers in raised beds. I'm still trying to decide if I want to add another green border around this. It took a while to get to this point. Originally I had used different green fabrics for each block. I thought since the centers were scrappy, I'd make the green border scrappy. As I was sewing it together, I kept thinking it just wasn't right but kept plugging away. When it was all finished, I didn't like the scrappy green border, so I took it all apart and added this green hand-dyed border. Kara thought I was completely nuts. I told her I would never really like the quilt if I didn't change it. I would always feel there was something off about it. Now to decide about a second border and then get it quilted.

I think I had mentioned that I had finally put up a design board. I used a leftover piece of styrofoam insulation    
and covered it with white felt. Since it was leftover insulation, the design wall has a couple of chunks missing from it but it is much better than taping things to the back of a bookshelf at the end of my sewing area. I do need to lower it. I thought I'd make it easy on myself and get it straight by aligning the top to the top of the sheet rock. Well after I put it up there and got down to look, I realized it was too high. Since I used 3M velcro strips to hang it, it won't be difficult to move, it's just a matter of taking the time to do it when there are much more interesting things to do.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sneak Peak

Haven't had much time to post lately between work and other things. Both kids have now graduated. Kara from college and Alex from high school. Work has geared up for the summer tourist season. I have been working on some projects. This is one I'm working on.

I'm enjoying my design wall although, I do have to lower it a little.

I hear thunder now so I'd better get off the computer. More later.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Thunder Snow Storm?

I think it is almost June but I'm not really sure. I don't think Mother Nature is sure either. Saturday night Kara asked me if we should bring the vegetable plants in because it was snowing. Not too long after bringing the plants in (glad I hadn't planted them yet!), there was a big flash of lightening and the boom of thunder and it was still snowing. Before I went to bed, I took a picture of my car with the snow on it.

Haven't had a lot of time to work on much. I did take an old piece of styrofoam insulation and make a design wall and  2 printing surfaces. I also took an old sheer curtain and make a screen for screen printing. I've wanted to try screen printing for a while and the class with Elizabeth Barton pushed me to try it. This was my first attempt at screen printing with thickened dye. I cut a stencil from copy paper to use. This piece isn't great but I can see lots of potential. This could be addictive.
On the bottom right side, when I was finished, I took the paper off the screen and layed it the fabric to get a print. This was something I saw Kerr Grabowski do on her Quilting Arts dvd.

I do have a few other things to show. I just have to take pictures. We  now have to get ready for Alex's high school graduation. Then graduations should be over with for a couple of years. Have a lot of cleaning to do which is hard since I'd much rather be playing with fabric, paint and dye and stuff.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Updated Shibori Quilt

I decided to go ahead and add the 2 rows to the shibori  quilt I made for Elizabeth Barton's class at Quilt University. I like the way it came out. The longer I stare at it I find more visual patterns in it. It's given me more ideas for some shibori quilts. Just need to dye some more fabric!

We are back from Kara's graduation. It was nice. The weather was a little gray and chilly but we had a nice visit with Gary's family while we were there. Kara had fun getting together with all her friends before they all went in different directions. Now to just get through Alex's high school graduation in a month.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Shibori Quilt Top

Here's the top I made with the shibori fabrics I made in Elizabeth Barton's class. I'm thinking of adding another row at the top and bottom of this. Maybe, maybe not. We'll see.
Tomorrow Gary and I are off to Houghton, NY for Kara's college graduation. Not looking forward to the 10 hour drive there and back. Kara flew out Sunday to be able to do some of the senior activities that are going on this week and spend some more time with her friends before they head off in different directions.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

More Fabrics from Elizabeth's Class

The second lesson we did was color dyeing. I tried my hand at making browns from blue, red and yellow. I saw some pieces dyed from these colors in one of my dyeing books and liked the colors.

In lesson 3, we moved onto shibori. 

The next 2 pieces were wrapped diagonally on a pvc pipe and scrunched down.

This piece reminds me of tree branches.

This was the blue/green  piece above, I over-dyed it with turquoise. I like the way this came out. 

This piece was wrapped on a bigger pvc pipe and wrapped with string as I scrunched it. I dyed it with fuschia and green. The green was made from basic blue and sun yellow.  I love the way this came out. I also did a run of fabric using these colors. Just waiting to get them rinsed out, washed and dried.

Now to figure out how I am actually going to use these!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Class with Elizabeth Barton

I'm taking a class on Quilt University with Elizabeth Barton. It's called Dyeing to Quilt. It is sad that Quilt University will be closing down at the end of the year. With Carol Millers death, there is no one to run it so this will be it's last year. I'm glad I had signed up for this class. 

Some of the basic dyeing stuff I'm already familiar with. In the first lesson, we did a gray gradation to study value. I've never really done a value study and never made a quilt with blacks and grays. 

I decided to use this drawing that I made years ago after a class with Rosalie Dace called "Up Close and Personal". It was part of a word done in calligraphy. I really was drawn to the curves in it and the play of positive and negative space.  Even though I liked it a lot, I never did anything with it till now. I'd always turn to it  in my idea notebook but didn't really know what I wanted to do. For Elizabeth's class, I did for different value drawings. This is just one of them.

This is what the quilt ended up looking like.  I decided to go with an off center spiral for the quilting to echo the curves in the design.  I would like to keep going with this idea and use it for more value studies and also color studies.

I'm also excited that the classes for next years North Country Studio Workshops is up on  their site. I'm looking at the Quilting class with Cynthia Corbin and the Surface Design class with Jason Pollen. Both would take me out of my comfort zone and push me. Because Jason's class isn't just a "quilting" class, I would have to push myself more and be more out of my comfort zone. I've never really taken a class that wasn't a quilt class. Last years class at NCSW was the first class I'd ever taken that wasn't at a quilt show or workshop. I really enjoyed seeing all the other art that was being done. Elin Noble is teaching the Fiber class there but I really don't need to learn a new technique. It's a natural dyeing class and at this point in my life,  I don't need to learn something where I need to buy more stuff to work with.
Just need to decide which class I want to put as my first choice and which as my second.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Didn't Work

I found out that using marbo gum from Pro-Chem doesn't work with Jo Fitsell's marbling technique. When the fabric dried, the marbo gum made a plastic like coating that didn't wash out. I even tried washing it in the washing machine and it still didn't come out. It's flaking off now but the paint is coming off with it. I will be sticking with the methyl cel for this technique. Eventually I should be able to get this off and reuse the fabric or marble on the other side.  I'm glad I didn't try marbo gum first or I might not have tried again with the methyl cel.

                                                     You can see how shiny the coating is.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another Day of Marbling

Here are some more marbling pictures. These are ones that I've marbled a second time. I really need to figure out how I'm going to use these. They are so different from what I usually use that it has got me a little bit stuck but they are so fun to make that I keep making more and keep asking what if I try this?? I have more fabric drying to marble later today. I pulled some more commercial fabrics to try and some of my painted hand painted ones.

I was looking at this one oriented vertically and thought it looked like a backbone, my friend, Debbie said a snakeskin.

These are all about 10"x13". The size of a large turkey roasting pan. I'd love to find or make something that is bigger so I can try marbling some bigger pieces.