Tuesday, September 22, 2020

PTA and Social Distancing

We had our first meeting of PTA since February on the driveway of Barbaras house, masks and keeping 6 feet apart.
Gary, Barbara's hubby set large potted plants around to give the feel of us being in a garden...it was also the most beautiful day weather wise.
Gen, Kate and Georgia getting settled in their spots.
Cathy and Barbara....
and Cathie's newest piece....so bright and energetic.
Here is something new from Gen
and another one of Gens.....She has been a busy lady.
And still another. Gen likes working with pens and inks and creating darling little books.
Georgia had some wonderful pieces to show...a smaller one that uses a very innovative hanging system...so clever!
And this wonderful piece from her new virtual workshop...the center is pieced, the people and birds are all stenciled and the round outer edge is pieced...quite a work of art.
Kate helping to figure out the outer border.
Barbara got the award for not only being the "Hostess with the Mostess" but also being the most productive....I present you with a mini quilt show...first this beautiful and happy very geometric quilt.
What little or big girl wouldn't love this. I think Barbara is planning on using a very thick batting and tying it so it is more like a comforter.
Everyone loved this beautiful blue and white..so clean and crisp. Barbara is a Master piecer so you can imagine how wonderful in person.
This one had the most wonderful variety of colors...love the bright green strip.
I love plaids and this was so interesting...love the way she framed the different sections of plaids....all in all, it was a great day with friends. It's amazing how we take things for granted....Just being back to a meeting with friends just felt so good.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Feathered Path

I spent this morning doing a little housekeeping in my gallery space in the Woolworth building turned art gallery. It's a great place to visit if you're in Asheville, NC. It's right on the main street which is Haywood Street - easy to find. My buddie Mary Stori and I share a space and there's lots to see in our booth as well as 100 other booths...something for everyone. Mary and I are on the lower level in #235.
 I had some lovely self-made kits ready to be made into something. The small wallhanging -top (and top of wall) is a recent addition.

I have many hand dyed silk scarves which make great gifts and another new wall hanging (bottom photo and bottom of wall) made from the leftovers of first quilt. The scraps were just too pretty to toss.
And here is quilt #2 below
It is heavily quilted with a feathered pattern. I do love to do feather quilting but I have a tremor in my hand and it gets harder and harder to do......some of the loops get wonky sometimes. But you can't keep a good arm down and I will continue to make feathers until the resemblance to a feather is so far from the real thing, I'll have to quit....but in the meantime....I'm loving the process.
The name of the quilt is "Feathered Path" It measures 22.5"W x 32"H...so small enough to work in many spaces.

I also used the same writing fabric (not a thread left of that wonderful fabric) which is delightful and illustrates that the visual texture of the writing is what's important, not necessarily the words. The words here are "The Night Before Christmas"...Come visit us both when you're in Asheville.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Writings on the Wall

I've been making a few new things for my gallery space at Woolworth in downtown, Asheville, N.C. Business has been pretty good....not as slow as anticipated and here's hoping it continues.

I try and do simple pieces for my space in Woolworth.  Many who shop there are from out of town and want something smaller to bring home. I'm also trying to use up fabric kits I have made over the years and stored for future use.  I love the quilt above - right and thought of making it again...but realized ...not too simple soooo.....
I think this might work better. I do a lot of auditioning before making a decision...Here, I like the idea of different colored blocks in the corners but after living with it for a while.... no...too many colors and fabrics. I did however find this "words" fabric as a sashing ...oh how I wished I had purchased more.
I wanted to keep the words running horizontally throughout which meant longer strips in some areas. I realized I didn't have enough long pieces and the seaming (above) really is an "eye-sore"...so what to do?

I did have some of the printed fabric left and a lightbulb went on...I backed some of the leaves with a fusible, then onto some fussy cutting and fusing them down over areas that were joined together. The wonderful Roberta Horten always said...."if you make a mistake, repeat it two more times and it will look intentional". Well I did just that and I can't tell you how often I've used that advice.
I also thought to bring a little more pink into the quilt as a "pop" color...not too much but just a wee pop!
And the finished piece which is named "Writings on the Wall" will be at Woolworth very soon. If you're in Asheville, NC and want to do some wandering around, Haywood Street is a good place to start...AND if you should come into Woolworth, walk on downstairs and to the right to #235. I share space with Mary Stori.
PS...If you're wondering what this glorious piece of writing fabric says....it's the words to "Twas the Night Before Christmas".

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

A Cool Little Technique

Years ago when I lived in Marietta, GA, I used to shop for art supplies at Pearl, very well known on the east coast....Unfortunately after many years, they closed, but in the interim, it provided many happy hours for finding new things to experiment with. I was into dyeing fabric so anything with the word "cotton" caught my attention. 
There were rolls of canvas for painting....cotton and one in particular seemed rather thin. It was a 7oz single fill (I had no idea what that meant) but it was COTTON...so how bad could it be. It was also a great price $3.00 a yard which ran 72" wide so really only $1.50 a yard. I bought a yard...drove home happy as a clam....and immediately dyed  this treasure that same afternoon...(Off the subject, the minute I laid this fabric down to photograph, Molly was on top of it!)
Well guess who was heading back to Pearl the next day for more....
Yup....10 yards this time. I still have lots left; it is a bit heavier than quilter's muslin but it's a wonderful fabric and I've used it many times in smaller pieces.
I always microwave dye it to add some visual texture to the fabric and take away the flatness. The process I use is quite easy...1/4 tsp. each of soda ash, mx dye and table salt in 2 cups of water for 2 yds of fabric. Microwave (in a designated microwave) for 4 mins on high if you have settings. It doesn't matter if fabric is dry or wet to start...each creates a different effect. You can halve the recipe if 2 yards is too much. Above, I used Havana Brown mx which is a dye that splits and gives off a grayish brown along with a greenish color...so pretty. After placing some of the appliques on top, I realized the background needed some more "personality" so I went to my stamp and silk screen drawer.

I mixed up some textile paint to make a brownish gray which I thought would work well on the background fabric.

I love stamps with words...I use this one a lot....and my favorite....not a stamp but something

I found when our house was being built (top left) used as a base for tiles in the bathroom. It creates a wonderful and subtle effect on fabric....just a touch here and there.
There are several size grids...this one above is a little larger than the yellow grid. I like the additonal stamping etc. on the surface.

And now onto the tulle. Tulle, like ballerina tulle is a great "tool" - pardon the pun, in your studio.
There are many times when you have an applique with many parts and you want to try it out on different areas of your quilt...so time was when I had to pin each little part to another area of the quilt until I discovered how to use tulle. So here's what I do...make 2 copies of your applique...one as a reference and the other as a pattern to cut up. Number each part with the same number in each applique....Petal #1 in the cut up is the same petal #1 in the reference and so on......
Lay a piece of tulle under the applique which serves as a reference. The applique pattern is used to cut up and make each part in fabric. Lay each piece on the reference piece on top of the tulle, pin or
use a glue stick to hold in place. Next you are going to iron the pieces onto the tulle using a fairly low setting. Use an old cotton hankie as a pressing cloth and also to protect the tulle from disintergrating. It can happen very quickly...Ask me how I know this.....see bottom right. Now if you're wondering why I just don't use the glue stick and skip the ironing....I've had it happen far too often where the pieces fall off with a glue stick...so ironing holds it better.

Even little fabric dots can be added to the tulle.....Now it is so easy to move the applique anywhere on the quilt to see the best placement for it. The tulle on the lower pictures is very light colored and hard to see....
When you have the right placement, it's time to iron the applique down permanently. Do this a little bit at a time by gently pulling off the tulle, ironing that section, pull off more tulle, iron...etc...It's a great little technique I've used time and time again....
Have fun...til next time.