Thursday, July 19, 2018

Indigo Waves Dilemma

I made this quilt a while ago and decided to quilt it for our upcoming show at the NC Arboretum. I really like this piece and was very excited to include it in my offerings for the show...
It is primarily Indigo fabric;  when I ironed it with steam...
this is what happened!...So I'm upset to say the least and don't know where to go from here...Someone suggested to spray the whole thing with water for a new look...another friend suggested a paste of oxi-clean on the area. My thought was to take it apart and remove all the solid blocks throughout the quilt -  I can't take a chance on it happening with another block. It's a bit overwhelming at the moment. I don't want to put it away as I'm thinking I won't get back to it and this is one worth saving...What to do...any thoughts?

Monday, July 16, 2018

PTA - July

PTA a little late but some lovely work to share. Well we met last week and it was a wonderful time as always. Each month a different member plans the meeting...this time - Connie Brown. We started at the Folk Art Center with some visitng time, homemade cookies and a wonderful show and tell.

Barbara showed us a quilt she is working on called Loose Change...nice thing about it is...
it works in either orientation.
And look at the fabulous backing fabric she has to go with it - perfect!
Dort has been creating some wonderful pieces based on photographs she has taken on a trip her and her sister took together......
This is her sister napping...
and here is a beautiful street in France
interpreted in thread and paint.
And this charming farm house that
is so well done in fabric.
I love the brick wall.
Then it was on to the Wabi Sabi exhibit upstairs in the main gallery. As I recently mentioned, this exhibit is open to members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and takes place every 2 years using a different theme.
Barbara is front of her piece...
and Georgia in front of her piece -  the Liberty Bell...
 and me in front of mine...
To round out the day we went to a great place for lunch...forgot the name but everything delicious. I had a fried green tomato and bacon hamburger - no calories....Ri i i i i ight! ( - :

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"That's How the Light Gets In"

The Southern Highland Guild has a members only show every other year in the main gallery of the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. There is always a theme; in years past such things as "black and white", a piece no larger than 6" and fellowship where you teamed up with another member to make a piece were used. All were great fun and very challenging.
This time around, the theme was Wabi Sabi - a Japanese concept dealing with finding imperfection in things is beautiful. The exhibit - "Perfect Imperfection - Embracing Wabi Sabi" opened this past friday.  I had come across a poem by Leonard Cohen - an instant connection and knew this was going to be the focal point and name of my piece. I printed it out on muslin and burned the edges with a woodburning tool to give it an aged look.
I love working with photographs, especially layering and using filters in Photoshop Elements. I had it in my mind to use a picture of a wall with cracks and peeling paint...I found plenty of old walls in downtown Asheville and took dozens of pictures.
I also wanted light to come through the cracks which the poem suggests; I have a file of sunset pictures which I thought might work. It did take me 2 full days to get the right wall with the right sunset and light coming through in the middle...so when I layered them and used different filters...
this was the reult.
The printing gods were with me this time and my little C-88 Epson printer did a great job printing on fabric. Above is the fabric on left and photo on right. Fabric isn't always as vibrant as photo paper but this time....spot on.
I made several copies on fabric, cropping areas for smaller parts of the photo to use in other areas of the quilt.
And now the fun begins...putting this all together in a pleasing and balanced way...always difficult for me. I started using some hand made paper, silk screened images etc....many frustrating moments.

I find what works for me - let it stew on the design wall for a while. Going in and out of my studio gives me a new perspective each time. Above right...the long strip of blue near the top...thought I loved it until I lived with it for a few days....too strong....also the bottom left is too heavy and needed something to lighten it up. 
 Adding a strip of lighter colored fabric helped it I think. I love words, so words were screened on the fabric to make it more interesting. I also thought the poem belonged on the left...not in the middle. Everything was stitched in place and machine quilted. This piece was to be mounted over a canvas frame so not necessary to have a backing fabric.
Time to flip it over and finish it...this part is tricky when you've worked with a geometric design and every piece a certain size. It has to be even everywhere on the right side...so it's one staple each side, flip over to check...then 2 staples on each end...flip it over and so on and so on.......
You can see, there was not a lot of quilting...didn't need it. I did use an extra layer of batting under the photo to give it more dimension.
Once it is stapled all around - staples very close together...I insert
1/2" foam cut to size to fit inside.
I don't know why I do this, maybe I feel it offers more stability.
The back finishing fabric is stabilized with "So Sheer" a fusible non-woven interfacing not to be confused with a fusible web. In my hurry to get it to the gallery, I forgot to take a picture of the back so I've enclosed another piece using this method.
The backing fabric is stapled all around the edges; the staples covered with a flat braid. This piece is silk screened, wabi sabi piece just used a pretty printed fabric. I used picture frame wire and eye hooks for hanging.
I named the piece "That's How the Light Gets In" Thank you Leonard Cohen for writing such beautiful words; they were truly my inspiration. I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday. Check out these wonderful sites to see what others are doing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The American Flag

I have posted this article a couple of times over the years on my blog. It is one of my favorites and worth repeating...
    The late, great Erma Bombeck was a gifted writer who gave us her light-hearted insights into life, people and mostly herself. I read her column on a weekly basis; I always looked forward to it. She always made me laugh but on a few occasions, brought a tear to my eyes. I'm not a saver of articles and such, but one particular column I've saved for over 30 years; it's yellow with age, it still brings a tear to my eyes. In honor of Independence Day, I give you Erma's take on the American Flag - What's red and white and blue and true?
 "No one ever taught me about the flag.
When I was 5, I was in a dance recital. My costume was a silver leotard. Attached to it at the shoulders and wrists was a flag. During the last few bars, I spread my arms revealing 48 stars on a field of white. The audience went crazy cheering...I learned a flag could make you look like you had talent!

A few years later at a baseball game in Cincinnati, 2 men were calling each other names that would starch your underwear. One said Ted Kluszewski hit like a girl and the other guy threatened to rearrange his nose. Just then, they hoisted the flag; both of them stood with their hats over their hearts. I learned that a flag could break up a fight!
 During the second World War, my Grandma sent her son to war. I never saw her cry when he left, or when he wrote or when we talked of him, but one afternoon when she thought no one was watching, she went and put a little flag on the sill in the front window. There were flags all up and down the street in windows. I learned the flag could bring tears to the eyes of people who didn't usually cry.
  When I was in New York once, I saw a group of demonstaters protesting the war. They lit a match to the flag. I watched in horror as the silk stripes curled in flames because I knew what was coming. Within minutes, there would be a bolt of lightning and thunder to strike them all dead - Nothing happened; the earth didn't part, the sky didn't fall and the VFW was open regular hours. I learned that a flag could touch the ground and life could go on.
 Later I was to learn that people would make underwear out of the flag, key rings and toilet seats. The flag was a successful commercial venture. 


I would learn that you wouldn't think about the flag for a long time, then you'd see it being raised slowly over a gold medal winner at the Olympics and you'd get up out of your chair quickly and say "Anyone want a beer while I'm up?" and go to the kitchen to hide your tears.
 I'm still learning about the flag. It's an enigma to me. I've known it all my life. It's so familiar, yet it occasionally touches a nerve that excites to the point where I square my shoulders and say to a perfect stranger at the UN, "See that one with the red and white stripes and stars? That's my country. 
Have a safe and wonderful Independence day.