Thursday, April 21, 2022

Recyling, UH-OH.... AND when in doubt, use 3

While rummaging through old projects, leftover blocks etc. I came across these blocks used in an applique workshop I used to teach. I had made a quilt to use as a sample which eventually sold and I thought, why not use these blocks to make another. I don't like making the same thing twice but this was just too convenient and ready to use. I needed another large quilt for my booth at Woolworth Walk, so this would be perfect.
The blocks were all created out of my own hand dyed fabric . The leaves were fused down using a fusible web and machine appliqued in place using the blanket stitch (my favorite).
To get a smooth applique and avoid tunneling, a stablizer should be ironed on the back. I use Sulky's Totally Stable iron on and temporary. It's wonderful and does the trick. 
I will gently remove the remainer of the paper before quilting. Removal is easy to do using something that can poke underneath like a pin or point of a seam ripper.
Well, they certainly did look nice until I came upon the UH-OH moment when I discovered the rip...almost looked like a one of the blocks. The blocks were already sewn together and I had no more fabric....What to do.
Well one thought,.......cover it up as I've done on several occasions before. I pulled out my Perfect Circles from Karen Kay Buckley and found the perfect size. I traced around the clear plastic circle template on green fabric fused with a fusible web...
cut it out, stood back for a look-see and yes, this would work. But it might look odd to have one odd little circle in the middle of a quilt...People might get suspicious...People might be doing the same thing with their mishaps...People might.........People might.......(holding breath) I took the advice of the late and very great Roberta Horton who always said, when you make a mistake, repeat it 2 more times. That way it will look advice I've ever gotten. So you know the rest.
And no...I didn't cover the quilt with circles but I did use enough to make it look intentional...all I can say is Whew! and Thank You Roberta!
Next step is to quilt this and get it to Woolworth...Have a great dayt!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Eco-Printed Scarves

One of the things I wanted to do with this (new to me) Eco printing technique was to make scarves. I sell them in my booth at the Woolworth Walk Art Gallery in downtown Asheville, N.C. so this would be a good way to go. You are basically working on a white scarf....color can be added with a color carrier (another post) but can be tricky and would like to start with a little color to begin with. 
Soooo.....I decided on my favorite "go to", very versatile paint - Dye na Flow. It's not really my favorite but by far, the easiest and will work on any fiber - both natural and synthetic. It is the consistency of water and leaves no hand on the I use it a lot and also have used it in many workshops I've taught over the years. When I want some visual texture, I use a crumpled up piece of plastic underneath so the paint will form bubbles and dry that me, it's more interesting than a smooth, solid color.
The middle scarf here, is the one in the picture above that was just painted...this scarf has been Eco printed using the heat press. I'm not sure how I like it. The background color seemed to migrate towards the center leaving the edges very light, although maybe that could be an interesting effect. The leaves do not show very well either...maybe a lighter wash of Dye-na-Flow would have been's all experimenting at this point which I also enjoy.
This one was created at a friends house with a heat press. The blue (might be a smoke bush or a plum tree from our subdivision) really pops but think I need more of something in there
This third one done on crepe du Chine was very soft and mottled...I like the amount of leaves...could have used more of a pop but I can go back and color some of it with something permanent....very subtlely....This technique takes a lot of experimenting and practice and even then you never know what will happen.
Now here's a beauty done by my friend Kathie Briggs...she just nailed it;  this is something to strive for.
This is the first one I did in a workshop with Vicki Bennett....a different method of printing..using a turkey roaster and steaming it rather than a heat press...both produce interesting results.

I'm chomping at the bit for spring to come and the trees to get their beautiful leaves...

Happy Valentines Day everyone...Wishing you a wonderful, happy and love-filled day!


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Coloring Cards

Good Morning...I'm sitting here in my window looking at a pile of cold snow...I do love snow, it's pretty and so peaceful when it's falling, but once it's down on the ground I would like it to go away. I know...... it doesn't work that way. One of the things I've been trying to catch up on during these long winter months is doing something with all the Eco printing I did last fall. The trees are naked... so nothing to print
On many of the prints I did I used color overlays to give the background some color. It's easy peasy to lay a sheet of colored or Origami paper over the leaf while printing. Make sure it's not a fugitive paper which means the color won't last. For example, colored tissue paper is fugitive so not a good thing to use. The leaf was also traced around with a Pigma it more definition. I used watercolor pencils to do some shading. You can see the pencil lines in the upper right corner.
and here
and very obviously here, using 2 different colored pencils. They do look unfinished but once you add a drop of water...
They blend out so well.
The are some droplets from the printing process in close to the leaf (above), but adding color makes them look intentional. I use a small round tip brush and a little cup of water. I dip the brush in, shake off or blot the excess and apply to the pencil lines. The water turns it into water color paint. 
I use Derwent watercolor 72 because I always wanted the big super duper size box of Crayola's and never got this in fact serves another purpose besides lots of color choices...that of fulfilling a childhood fantasy...except they don't have the smell of a new box of crayons....
Well....back on is a before and after of a leaf in the process of developing some personality. First the pencil markings...can use several colors...
then blending it with water.
Here is another one using several colors and also some color enhancement on the leaf itself.
Here is a"before" but don't have the after but it was a very soft colored leaf needed a little oomf.
Another using purple and needs the water to make it complete.

 This is a finished one, 2 different watercolor penciles, outlined with a pigma pen, torn edges on the paper before printing and burnt edges with a wood burning tool before mounting on a card. And the nice thing about this is that if you have some "not so great" prints, they can often be saved with a little embellishing!

Have a great day...stay warm.

Friday, December 24, 2021

NY at Christmas

I am so far behind in posting...have had company for the last week and it's been a whirlwind of activity. My daughter and I did get up to NY City for the Christmas markets, something we started several years back and loved it so much, it's become a tradition.
We did miss the recent lockdown by 2 weeks; we feel fortunate to have had the full experience but also sad and frustrated that this is still going on.
We always stay in the same hotel as it has a wonderful location and far enough away from Times Square to give you some peace and quiet. It's also right around the corner from Rockefeller Plaza. 
We did get in the same evening as the lighting of the tree so it was a bit insane. There were millions of people and you could not get near the tree as the blocks were all roped off but plenty of other beautiful things to see in the city...the tree could wait.
This was near our hotel...
And this came to be our favorite deli that we had breakfast at every morning.
More beautiful decorations....
The first market we hit was in Central Park West near Columbus Circle...It had not opened yet so a great time to get pictures.
Walking along Central Park to get there was beautiful. It was cold but not unbearable. Wearing a mask was mandatory but also felt great as it shielded the cold from our faces.
One of booths sold beautiful wood pieces made from Olive wood.
and more Central Park....
I was surprised to see some trees that still had color in December.
Bergdorf Goodman's featured an exhibit on Gee's Bend quilts (a few months back) and clothing made using that style. The exhibit was down but they did have a few articles of clothing left and interesting to see. To purchase them, I would have needed a second mortgage on my $3,200 for a jacket...Crazy but lots of fun to see.
We went to lunch at our favorite place - Rue 57 and was glad to see that the first lockdown in NY did not affect it...just as wonderful as ever.
Walking along 5th Avenue at night is magical....all the buildings are decorated.
My favorite is Saks 5th Avenue which is right across from the tree and has a light show every hour for @ 5 minutes. The building is covered with lights which change patterns etc along with music. It's magical and amazing.
The tree...night 2 just as beautiful as the first night when we couldn't get near it...probably just as many people though.
Bryant Park which is in back of the NY public library is the place for another and very large Christmas Market...We visited it at night but also during the day.
Radio City Music Hall which had not closed as yet was such a treat. The first full night we were there, we went to see the Rockettes. I hadn't seen them for years and it was quite an amazing show.
This beautiful restaurant which was right across from our hotel is on our list to visit next time around. We didn't have reservations which on a Saturday night in December is understandable...
We came upon this near Central cute.
We also came upon this beautiful cathedral that was open and we had all to ourselves. We spent some time there which was so peaceful and an escape from the busy city.
On to the markets...
some beautiful views of the city

Jill and  I all bundled up...
And a selfie in front of Rockefeller Plaza...Merry Christmas to each and all and as Tiny Tim would say....God Bless Us Everyone!