Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thinking Pink

I was in Atlanta last week visiting my daughter Jill.  She wanted me to come to the doctor with her to see if she was having a boy or girl - YES - she is expecting her first child and we're all so excited.  Well the results are in and it's a girl; We're on Cloud 9!
Change that to we're on "Pink Cloud 9". I'm getting out my old smocking pleater, looking in pattern books for doll clothes and little girl clothes and of course cute baby quilts!  Life is good!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fiber Junkies March, 2012

Yesterday, was our Fiber Junkies meeting at my house where we continued to explore ways to color fabric. Last month was markers, this time was paints. It was great fun to see and try all the wonderful products available for painting and also to be able to rule out those we could live without.  We made samples of each paint - some we used with an extender, some were used on wet fabric, some were used with a wet brush and some a dry brush - all gave different effects.  
 As always I learned so much and definitely came away with "favorites", things I'ld never tried before. The Tsukineco inks were among my favorites. The also have a spray ink which was wonderful and will have to look into those further.
 In the sample above, the pearlescent tube acrylic - gold color, was used straight from the tube, the sample on the right had GAC which is a textile medium added to it. It made such a difference in the color.
 We took a break for lunch and Kate made us this wonderful fresh strawberry pie for dessert - looks delicious and even better in person!
 Show and Tell in this group is always wonderful - so much talent.  Val made this wonderful piece out of her deconstructive screenprinted fabric.  This is my favorite technique but hard to know what to do with the fabric as it's so busy.

 Dee Dee brought a piece of felted fabric we all went wild over. She used Alpaca as a base and felted wonderful fabrics on top of it.
 Mary's head was spinning with all the beading ideas she had for this.
That's all for now, am leaving this morning to go visit my daughter in Atlanta. I have pulled out the shorts and summer tops as I have a feeling that's what I'll be wearing - too soon for me!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Small Works - Dear Alice

I really like doing small pieces; I can try new ideas and products without a large investment of time or materials.  My latest piece - "Dear Alice" features many fabrics I made myself - my favorite part. 
 The image for the Fleur de Lis was from a Dover coloring book which offers lots of copyrite free images.  I made the image into a silkscreen and used it on top of hand dyed fabric.  I quilted it with a glitzy thread.
 One of my favorite silkscreens is one I made from my mother's autograph book from the 1930s.  There are so many great pages from that book; I "over-use" this one but I love the handwriting. I also used another Fleur de Lis motif in the corner.
 The top border has more screened images.
 The bottom border has images that were made with discharge paste.
 And it's hard for me to resist putting a tree in somewhere so there you go - one in the side border. I also used a glitzy thread to quilt that area.
 I like to use couching thread to define areas and add a little glitz. Sometimes, the color is too bright.  There are not too many choices in couching threads soooooo..
 I pull off several yards and dip it in Dye na Flow paint which has the consistency of water.  It will not change the metallic part of the thread but it will darken or change the rest just enough.  I only use a few yards at a time so this little trick comes in handy.
 I have about 4 more little pieces waiting for the final tweaking.
So "Dear Alice" was born out of one of my favorite pages in my mother - Alice's autograph book.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

PTA Retreat

Our 4th annual PTA retreat happened last week and if possible, it was even better than the year before. We had 3 wonderful days at Lake Logan with a huge community room for sewing, a dining hall that fixes all our meals, a house that holds all of us and 11 of the nicest ladies I know. It's non-stop laughing, sharing, snacking, sipping, sewing etc. Our first night, we have a little contest, this year was our Bucket List.  We were to write on 3 separate pieces of paper, 3 things on our Bucket List. The group then has to guess who wrote it. I recommend this activity with a glass of wine or champagne.
 It was Gen's birthday and the dining hall made her a cake much to her surprise. She was sung to by everyone present. Luckily, there were 2 other groups there. This is also a great activity to do with wine.
 Well back at the house awaited another cake. Can you have too many cakes on your birthday?  I don't think so! And with the kind of candles that don't blow out. Gen is such a good sport, we all had a good laugh over that.
  On to the community sewing room, Leigh Ann was working on a simple but very interesting quilt .  We all try to pick easy projects so we can talk all day without messing up.
 Georgia was working on a quilt for a wedding gift - for this WEEKEND - yikes! Well I think she decided to show the blocks and a picture of what it would look like - smart!
 Kate, Mary and I often do a project together. Mary had tons of blacks and whites she wanted to get rid of and Kate had lots of solids so we put together these tops. Kate made a very clever back (on the left) for her quilt on the right.
 And the 3 quilts which will be donated to a children's hospital in SC. Kate has a long arm and volunteered to quilt them all - Thanks Kate!
 The last day, Kate and Mary made another top. I filled in the gap with pressing, sewing etc - kind of a sewing gopher. I'm not a piecer and knew I wouldn't finish a third on my own.
 At night we played Rummikub - it's a lot of fun but really really fun when you drink champagne while playing. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

 We were very careful to "recycle" (-:
 On the last day we got to see a quilt that Georgia was working on - a quilt passed down from her great-grandmother - Lottie Saylor. It's quite beautiful and all the hand quilting is being done by Georgia. She's been working on it for years but it will be a masterpiece when done and such an accomplishment.
 Kate went home with the "bird" and matching necklace. Every now and then, the bird finds a new home with one of our members - none of us really want him, but it's just not a choice. We'll go home and there he is inside our suitcase or some other unexpected place. It's up to the current owner to find him a new home.  Well, I think he's going to love being with Kate, doesn't she look overjoyed to have him!?
It was a wonderful 3 days, we've already got our reservations for next year and have started counting the days.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Inspired By" Exhibit continued

In my last post, I showed pictures of some of the wonderful pieces from the "Inspired By" exhibit at Mid Atlantic last week.  There were 13 of us who made a piece for the exhibit; here are the rest of them.  My piece - Hummingbird Magic (since renamed "Sweet Nectar") was inspired by Martin Johnson Heade who is known for his swampy settings, flowers and vines - right up my ally. 

 Gen Grundy did a wonderful piece inspired by G. Klimt.
 Dort Lee does the most wonderful pictorials. I can see the inspiration from her chosen artist - Edouard Vuillard.
 I love the piece that Connie Brown created inspired by artist Wolf Kahn. I think she captured it so well!

 Janice Maddox created a very colorful piece inspired by artist Paul Klee.

 Lynne Harrill was inspired to create a piece based on the artwork of Sewell Sillman.
 Georgia Bonesteel has always loved the artist Charley Harper. She also loves chickens which she raises, so she combined the 2 to make this wonderful piece.

This was really one of the most fun challenges and was well received.
     Tomorrow I'm off to my annual PTA retreat. This will be our 4th one - they just keep getting better and better.  There are 10 of us going, when I return, I'll have lots to share along with lots of pictures including photos of "empty" wine bottles, finished or close to finished quilts, bags under our eyes from lack of sleep and LOTS and LOTS of new laugh lines!
Til then, have fun creating and just enjoying the coming of spring.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Inspired By" Exhibit

The Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival invited our PTA Fiber group to do an exhibit for their show last week.  It hung for the duration of the show and was viewed by thousands of people. I know I've talked about some of the pieces and showed their progress on my blog, but to see it finished and hung with such beautiful signage was just plain wonderful. Every member chose an artist that inspired them and then did a piece to reflect something in that artist's work.  Linda Cantrell chose Picasso.
 The beautiful signage done by Lynne Harrill reflected a picture of the artist's work alongside each member's interpretation/work.  A little blurb about the work along with a couple of sentences about the artist was also included.
 Cathy Neiman chose Kandinsky.  A close up of this piece reveals lots of wonderful big stitching and hand work.
 Barbara Swinea chose Charles R MacIntosh as her artist. Barb is a master at both piecing and applique.
 You can see the similarities in the feel of the two pieces...
 Mary Stori chose Banksy as her artist and this is her wonderful interpretation.

 Kate Weston chose Matisse as her artist - think she nailed it!

 Mary Berry chose William H. Johnson as her artist. Mary's piece is based on a picture of her as a child in the garden, but also reflecting the style of her artist.

This is only half the show, so more to follow.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival

I had a wonderful week teaching at Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival last week.  I drove up with friend and fellow teacher - Linda Cantrell, on Tuesday.  Wednesday, I helped hang the "Inspired By" exhibit by our PTA group.  It was a wonderful experience to be invited to exhibit at such a top notch national show. Many members from PTA drove up to see it.  I also had some extra time and helped hang the Alzheimer's exhibit but more on that later. One of the workshops I taught was Shaded Florals - a new workshop I developed as a result of creating my piece for the Inspired By exhibit.  Students had their choice of 3 different patterns and using commercial fabric, fused and stitched a beautiful flower.  Using Shiva paintstiks, the piece was then shaded to give more dimension.  The gals were wonderful, worked hard and created such beautiful work.  It was a cold, blustery day outside but in my classroom, it felt like spring with all the beautiful color and flowers.
 I loved this bright red Iris.
 The class was big, so we took 2 pictures to fit everyone in.
 Didn't they do an amazing job.
 After class, it was over to the quilt show - grabbing moments here and there to see the show. As a teacher, there's not a lot of free time.  Then it was back to the hotel to visit with friends who came to see the show. Are we having fun or what - count those wine glasses!
 Linda Fiedler has retired this year from the teaching circuit - such a very lovely and talented lady.  She came to Mid Atlantic to do her last lecture and also attend the quilt show where she had a special exhibit of her quilts.
All in all, it was great fun - more to follow, so stay tuned!