Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Saturday of This and That

Ah…the joy of waking up on a Saturday morning….and thinking that it is Friday and that you are already running late!!!!  And then the blissful realization that it is  indeed Saturday and that you have NOTHING planned for the day.

While in my planning room (the shower), I got my day organized….sort of….

The first task was to finish up a few tax returns.  This accomplished, it was on to the studio.

During the last two weeks I have been trying to spend a few minutes each day working thru my scraps and cutting them into usable pieces.  This was all well and good, but meant that I had to clean off my cutting table before I could work on anything else…..

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As I was making the last few cuts, I noticed that my cutting board was finally starting to shred with the cutter so it was time to replace it with the one that I had purchased MONTHS ago.  This shouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that the one I had bought was much larger than my table so it needed to be cut to size.  Fortunately, my sweet husband accompanied me to the garage and held it in place while I used the jig saw and cut the board to fit.

DSC02284 MUCH better…..

Next item on the list was to begin quilting the Archway piece that I had started at Arrowmont with Elizabeth Barton.  As I started steaming the fusible batting to the top, my iron started leaking a brown fluid and got spots on the top…AARRRGGGHHHHH!!!! 

I ran to the kitchen and poured cold water on it until the spots came out.  The only problem now was that it was almost impossible to get the seam lines all straight again!!

Oh well, lets leave it for now and move to the next idea…..

I had started a piece last year for my Fiber Frenzy Color Challenge but had never finished it up….

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While in the shower, I had the idea to use the stamp that I had cut in the Lyric Kinard class and add a fun border to the piece.    I pulled out the Set-A-Color paints and started playing.  Here is the resulting addition…..

DSC02289 Once the paint dries I will finish the quilting and trim the piece down.

…NEXT……our Fiber Frenzy group has set another challenge….this time a “River” challenge where we are planning to abut each of the quilts up against one another.  So, I once again used Elizabeth Barton’s suggestion and mapped out the approximate size on my design wall….

DSC02290 …..okay, enough of that project for now…..

Now, back to the Archway….. I don’t have an actual plan for the quilting, but did what I always do….started with what I knew…..

DSC02297 ….mainly that I wanted to follow the lines of the shibori dyeing on the left side light blue.

When it was time to stop for the afternoon, my sweet husband presented me with a wonderful new meal……a ground Turkey meatloaf made with Sun Dried tomatoes, parsley and Feta Cheese.

DSC02300 A perfect ending to a fun, fun day!!!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

How about a little screen printing…..

One of the techniques that we learned with Lyric Kinard was screen printing.  Now this is a technique that I have never really been interested in and never thought that I would use, but it was certainly fun to try!!!

Lyric had brought a bunch of screens, both framed ones and unframed and we were given the opportunity to use any of them.DSC02019

She first demonstrated proper technique, from how to hold the squeegee…

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…to how to make the pulls of the paint…..DSC02024

***Dont you love her clothing colors….purple, orange and green!!

This is my first try….you can tell that I double swiped the right hand side as it ended up darker and thicker……

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Once again, this is not a favorite technique!!!  The main reason is that I find it hard to think that there is one design that I will use over and over and over again… at least not enough to justify having a screen made.  But, as with most things, I am sure that I will soon find that I simply CANNOT live without it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blogspot comments

Have you tried to place a comment on a Blogspot post lately?   It has become almost impossible to figure out the word verification so people are simply not leaving comments anymore.

 

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Can you read the word on the left…..and this is an easy one!!!

 

To this end, I (along with lots of  other bloggers) have removed the word verification from my site. 

Come on Google…..figure it out!!!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Flower Pots with Mom

 

Several weeks ago my Mom returned the applique blocks that I had put together and sent to her to finish the raw edges……

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Now I need to figure out how to set it. 

  -  Do I put sashings around the blocks, and if so, what color(s)

  -  Do I leave the blocks in a lump like this?

  -  What type of border…. pieced, appliqued flower vines  (if Mom is willing to do more flowers)

 

I had hoped to play with this in EQ7 but am finding it a bit “less than intuitive”!!!

I may end up printing the photos out and playing on paper.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rainforest Finished….

Tuesday night was the night to present my “Complement Me” challenge and here is the finished quilt…..

Frances-Arnold

While at my Church Women’s Retreat this pas t weekend, I added some beads to the flower stalk and I think that it made a nice difference….

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The other quilts that were presented were wonderful as well…..

Unknown-2 Terri Jarrett

Amethyst-Dreams-by-Denise-SDenise Stanchek

Breadfruit-by-Barbara-RedmaBarbara Redman

Chincoteague-Pony-by-Donna- Donna Phillips

Christmas-at-the-Cabin,-LinLinda Murray

Complemantary-Color-ChallenChris Langone

Orchids by Barbara Redman Barbara Redman (#2)

Sunset,-McNutt-Creek,-WinteMary Beth Tawfik

Tile-Table-by-Mary-Grider Mary Grider

Unknown-1Fay Rawls

All in all, a very successful challenge!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!

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I hope that you get to spend the day with your loved one!!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A little more beading (part 2)…..

On the second morning, Lyric went back to beading and showed us a few more neat techniques….

 

First we made “stacks”.   To do this you bring the needle to the front of the piece, add how ever many beads you want, then add one securing bead and pass the needle thru all of the stacked beads (skipping the securing bead).

 

The next step was to us the stacks to form a Bezel to hold a Cabochon (flat bead or stone with no hole).   The technique is to trace around the cabochon (button in this case) and build stacks just outside of the line.  You then place the cabochon in place, fold over the stacks and run your thread thru all of the top beads, adding beads between if necessary….DSC02088

Look at all of the different ways that Lyric was able to use her Bezels…..

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Here are a couple more of her sample pieces…..DSC02099

Look at these fun stacks…….

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Lots of fun inspiration…..

Friday, February 10, 2012

A little beading (part 1)….

One of the techniques that we did with Lyric was beading.   I have done a bit of beading in the past but learned so many new things and lots of things that I was doing wrong!!!

The first thing we learned was to sew on a single bead.  She told us to thread up a bead and then use the needle to place it flush against the fabric.  Then as you push it into place, bring the needle down to the back again……

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You then come back up and go thru the bead again and return to the back of the fabric  (never did this before!!!).

Now came a tip that I had never seen…..

In order to tie a securing knot in the back of the piece, you take a small nip of fabric, twist the thread around the tip of the needle three times, hold the twists in place with your thumb and pull the needle thru……SO EASY!!!

DSC01969We also did a straight line….the method is……  put 4 beads on the piece, do a half back-stitch and come up between the 3 and 4th beads.  Go thru those last two beads and then add two more….. DSC01972

Next came a curved line.   This technique is the same as a straight line, except that when you do the half  back-stitch, you come up just outside of the curve.  The final trick (and this is a good one) is to run your thread back thru all of the beads when you are finished.   On my piece, the beads were sort of all over the place, but this final step pulled them all together perfectly…..

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Next came working with bugle beads.  Lyric reminded us that bugle beads are cut tubes of glass and that the edges are sharp and can easily cut the threads.  The way around this is to always include a bead between each bugle….how easy is that….

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Here is Lyric’s beautiful beaded sampler piece…..

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Save the Rainforest

I have been madly working on my Rainforest quilt this week.  The deadline is next Tuesday and I am at a Church Women’s Retreat on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. SO…..it is imperative that I get as much studio time as possible.

The plan for each of my days has been to work steadily on my accounting tasks until about 2 and then spend a few hours in the studio.  This is actually working quite well as it is a great incentive for me to stay on task when at my desk. 

When I last showed it here it was pinned onto the wall so now came the task of sticking everything to the backing fabric.  I had planned to just use raw edge applique, but decided that the smaller pieces (stems, berries, etc) would be easier applied with a fusible backing.    The other pieces were stuck on with a spray adhesive.

One note here, I wish that I had used fusible web on the entire piece!!!  So many of the pieces have little bits sticking off and it has been a bit hard to get them all stuck down properly.

I carefully removed the piece from the wall and started sewing around each of the pieces to hold them onto the backing.  It was an interesting process as I was worried that other bits would fall off so I tried to not move the fabric around very much. DSC01890

Since I was planning to add quite a bit of thread work, I decided to fuse a lightweight interfacing to the back to give it a bit more stability….

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As always, the first stitches were the hardest, but I decided to start on the bamboo and was absolute thrilled with how it turned out….DSC01938

As I worked, I kept trying to find the “perfect” thread color but finally decided to not try to match the thread to the fabric but just use whatever looked ok.

NOW for the “AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH”……

I had just finished  embroidering the frog when I realized that I had caught the other side of the piece under the needle and had overstitched in the border….DSC02137

After debating about taking out all of the stitching, I decided instead to cut the piece out of the border and simply move the quilt a bit more to the left.  Fortunately I had added about 3 inches to each side of the piece so I had some room to do this…..DSC02138

So, now my top looks like this……

DSC02139 But once it was squared up it looked better……DSC02141

I had purchased a Wool batting to use on this piece, but since I was so tight on time, I decided to use my old fusible batting and be done with it.

The quilting is appearing to be a wonderful addition to the design…..

 DSC02142 The plan for tomorrow is to finish up the quilting.

On Friday I will square it up (probably at the Fiber Frenzy meeting since there is a wonderful table where I can lay the entire piece out).  Hopefully I can get the facing put on before leaving for the retreat.

Final steps can be done at the retreat….there is always time for a bit of hand stitching and maybe adding some beads…..

Friday, February 3, 2012

Where to start….

Today, I had the wonderful pleasure of spending the day with Lyric Kinard as a part of a two day “Surface Design Sampler Platter” workshop.   We went full tilt for 6-1/2 hours with about 20 minutes for lunch.  Over the next few posts I will try to show what we did, but I wanted to start out with my favorite…..stamp carving!!!!

We used white rubber erasers as our palette and started out by sketching out a few designs…..

DSC01983 We used these drawings as rubbings to transfer the design to the eraser….

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….and then started cutting, first with an X-Acto knife……

DSC01977….and then adding some details with a linoleum carving tool.  DSC01980 The most fun thing to do was to cut a circle.  The technique included inserting the knife point at an angle into the eraser.  You then turned the eraser in a circle until the knife arrived back at the starting point.

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The circle popped out easily!!!!

My second design (cut on the other side of the eraser) was done almost entirely with the Lino-tool

DSC01987 Now came the moment of truth….what would this look at when printed!!!

We used a foam brush to pat the paint onto the stamp…..

 

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and….VOILA……DSC02000 HOW MUCH FUN IS THIS!!!!!

Lyric has a “signature” fabric where everyone places their stamp and then signs.  It was fun to see all of the designs that have come out of her workshops…..

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Well, there is one technique…..we also did beading, screen printing, foiling, and image transfer…..and there is still another day to come!!!!

More later…..

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