Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rosebrock Garden Cuttings

 

Cast your mind back to September of last year and a post that I wrote about a bag of leftovers from a quilt that my Mom and I had made together……

I had started working on the alternating blocks while we were visiting in Oxford, England for 2 months.  But, when I returned and started to put the blocks together I realized that I didn’t like how they looked.   SO, I put the original blocks aside and started over again with a different design.  Then, when I got to the border, I designed and pieced one side of the quilt, but the I didn’t like it when I started to apply it to the quilt.  Once again, it was pitched aside and I started over again.

SO, as I was doing some cleaning out, I came across a bag containing the following bits and pieces……  all leftovers from the original quilt…..

_9132506 (2)After going thru all of this  and determining how many different blocks and patches I had in each type I moved to Electric Quilt and started to design a block that would use as many of these pieces as possible.  This is what I came up with….

pic 1

 

I then took photos of the two blocks and played with them in Photoshop until I came up with this…..

Picture1

After piecing the center, I auditioned a ton of fabrics to pick the borders.  After deciding on a small pink border, I started looking at all of the small strips that I had left over and turned it into a piano key border.

The final border was a toughie……I kept putting fabrics on the design wall and taking photos of them, but couldn’t find anything that I was happy with.    Then I came across  one of the Caryl Bryer Fallert gradation fabrics and was really excited to see how it looked.  I spent a LONG time trying to figure out how to turn the corners so that the colors blended, but finally decided to just start attaching it and to adjust as I went.

ANYWAY, here is the finished top……

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I am now working on the backing, and hope to  use the last few bits of the leftovers.

Oh, and about the quilt name…… when we spent our two months in Oxford, we lived in a house just across from Merton College that was built in the 1500’s and remodeled in the 1700’s.   There was a gorgeous courtyard, complete with a pond, 2 pooping Mallards and beds and pots of wonderful plants.  The garden was named “Rosebrock Garden” and the quilt is made of the leftovers (cuttings) from “Mother Daughter Flower Garden”……thus  “Rosebrock Garden Cuttings”

……more to come…….

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A-Ling

While in Kunming, I met  A-Ling, a young woman from the southwest part of Yunnan Province, near Myanmar.  We met at a dinner with a number of American Expatriates living in Kunming…..her husband is American.

We talked a bit about her fiber art (thru her husband since she doesn’t speak a lot of English and my Mandarin is non-existent).  They invited me to visit their home the next day and see some of her work.    Before I walked to her home, I looked at her website and saw some of the wonderful bags that she makes to sell.    This glimpse into her craft did not prepare me for what I would see.

She is currently making fiber art using “snippets” of fabric.  These are applied to the background canvas using a rice flour mixture.  On some, a small amount of stitching is added.

Here are a few of her wonderful pieces……

 _3124863 _3124865 This was my favorite piece and was one of the first that A-Ling made using this technique……

_3124867Look at the intricate shading that she is achieving on this work in progress……..

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It was an eye-opening experience to meet A-Ling and to see her work!!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Back Again

Hello….my name is Frances and I am a quilter!!    I almost feel that this is how I should start my blog since it has been so long since my last post!!!!

It has been a busy three weeks, with spending 10 days in China, spending a week getting over jet lag, and a week getting caught up on business duties!!  But, I am now starting to feel a bit more normal so thought I would catch up with you again.

I posted to a blog while traveling and want to share here a couple of posts from the trip.  The first is a trip to a fabric dyeing “factory” in Xizhou, a village in the southern province of Yunnan. 

They do traditional tie-dying (like we did in the 70’s), but make  ornate designs by taking the fabrics and sewing or wrapping them to make amazing patterns. It seemed like a mixture of Shibori and Tie-dyeing. They showed us the entire process, from soaking the fabrics in a solution that allows the fabric to accept the dye, to the process of tying the fabrics and then the final dipping in dyes. Most of the pieces are dipped several times to increase the intensity of the colors. All of the dyes are organic based with their specialty being in Indigos. Needless to say, I spent a good amount of time in the sales room!!!! When Michael “complained” that our bags were heavier, I pointed out that our wallets were lighter so it all worked out fine!!

Here are some photos of the outing……

 

Soaking the fabric in uric acid……

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One of the Indigo dye baths  (apparently they required a bit of working in between dye baths……

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The “dyeing” room….today they were doing traditional tie-dyeing……

_3084242 The pieces are tied and wrapped and then dipped in dyes.  The piece on the right has been wrapped but not yet dyed…….._3084228 This one has been dyed and the threads are now being cut to reveal the design……_3084231

After dyeing the pieces are rinsed many times…….

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Allowed to dry……    _3084248And displayed into a quilter’s paradise!!!……. 

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I bought one of the hand-dyes in the middle of this stack………._3084259 

Do I look happy, or what!!!!!………_3084253

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kunming China…..here I come!!!

First of all, I am so sorry for not posting in the last couple of weeks.  We are leaving on Saturday for 10 days in Kunming, China.  My poor husband has to work during this time, but I am free to play….they are even providing me with a guide for part of the time!!!

I am planning to blog our travel diary (provided we have reliable internet).   If you are interested in following the trip, check out this blog site……

Mike and Frances Travel in the Yunnan Province

I promise to return to quilting and blogging once we return and I get caught up with taxes!!!

 

Thanks for your patience!!!!

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