Sunday, December 30, 2012

Enchanted Village revisited

Well it's my birthday today and as much as I don't like birthdays, I'm happy to be celebrating another one. Part of my present to myself is to have an uninterrupted day in my studio. It's been wonderful.  I know I've shown this quilt in progress awhile back with very little left to be done before being quilted.  The birdhouse in this quilt still need birds to make it look complete.

I went online to get copyrite free images of bluebirds.  I also had a wonderful picture of my cat Molly who loves birds for different reasons than my own, but thought her expression might work in this little vignette. All photos were printed individually on the one sheet making the best use of my treated fabric. It is a little time consuming but better than making all the many sheets of fabric for printing.
I ironed the sheet of images onto fusible web and then cut them out....
to be placed on and around the birdhouse.
with Miss Molly looking longingly from down below.
I also added some squiggles using Candlelight couching thread.
and another adorable little baby blue bird perched up in a tree branch higher up on the quilt. I couldn't help myself. He was so cute and chubby.
So now to quilt this big boy.
More to follow - and I wish you all a wonderful New Year filled with fun times, good health and lots of studio time!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

 May your holidays be filled with happiness and love.

Friday, December 21, 2012

And the stockings were hung.....

As is so true with the holidays, there's never enough studio time.  This year I've barely set foot in mine, but I did get to sew a little when making my granddaughter's quilt and stocking.  I know I shared the progress on the quilt with you and just yesterday finished her stocking. I'm happy with the way the quilt turned out, not as soft and cuddly as I would have liked but bright and colorful which babies love.  My friend Dort made a quilt for her new granddaughter and backed it with fleece - what a great idea. That will be my next one. I had limited pieces of fabric for binding so did each side different which I like better anyway. It's hard to see in the picture.
 My daughter wanted funky, non-traditional colors for a stocking, so this is variations on red and green, cute for a little girl.
 I wound up not using the very dark one on the end and the pink with dark flowers that went with it; it was just too strong with the other fabrics.  As always, everything I think will take a couple of hours takes longer - waayyy longer.  My friend always told me this rule - whatever you think it will take double it and add 3 hours" that's about right!
 My husband said to make it really big so we can fit lots in it, think the baby could fit in this one!
 The letters were fused and then stitched with invisible thread along with the addition of "baby rick rack" which is one of my favorite things....
I also did a "hem" stitch using my BERNINA and Lana thread which is part acrylic and part wool and has a strong presence on the surface.  I like the fact you can use it on the top of your machine but also need a large eyed needle like a topstitch # 16.  It's such a pretty effect.
My company is coming tomorrow and lots to do. Have a great day. It's cold and blustery here today with chances of snow showers...brrrrrrrr......

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Paperdolls, presents and Fiber Junkies

We had our Fiber Junkies holiday gathering today to eat, drink and be merry and also do some fun planning for next year. Our group is small which allows us to meet and spread out in each other's homes.  We play with various techniques and products so each meeting is very productive as well as great fun. We have some fabulous ideas for next year including working with fimo, felting, making textured boards, improvisational screenprinting etc..etc... We always have Show and Tell. Val surprised us with a beautiful hand blown glass ornament.  This little beauty immediately found a place front and center on my tree - and the first ornament I see.
 Kate showed us a quilt she had made some time ago for perhaps a granddaughter someday.  Kate and I both loved paperdolls as children and still do.  Seeing this quilt brought me back in time.
 Each doll had it's own block so you could dress it with clothes.
Some were carrying pets or dolls...just so cute.
 Kate also purchased  fabric print of clothes for these dolls....
 which she back with a fusible fleece so when cut out, they would stick to the doll on the quilt. Mary suggested making little suitcases to hang along the bottom to hold the clothes. This group just keeps getting cleverer and cleverer.
 And to my surprise, Kate gave me a panel of fabric with 8 different dolls and clothes to make my own paperdoll quilt. I was speechless and excited AND I felt like a little kid again.
 Here are some of the adorable panels I have to work with.
Even a little boy panel (actually there were 2 panels of boys but I love this one with the costume)
 I will be making this for Audrey when she gets a little older but we might, just might have to share this quilt.
If I wasn't so busy, I would start it tonight. What a great day, being with such wonderful and thoughtful friends, yummy food, amazing surprises and a great year to look forward to - I'm a lucky gal!

Monday, December 10, 2012

PTA Party

Our PTA Christmas party seems to get crazier every year. First on the agenda is the visiting while having orange blossoms and goodies just to get us in the party mode.
 Next comes Show and Tell. Leigh Anne who has moved to Florida came up for our party and has a lot to share like her Halloween costume this year.
 Simply called "Boo-Bees" Cute!
 More show and tell to come but for now, it's on to the food - as always, everything delicious.
 We always do the white elephant gift exchange; sometimes the gifts are good, sometimes not so good. In this case, you can't "judge a book by its cover".
 This was the first one picked.
 which turned out to be rulers put together in a quilt pattern.
 This cookie jar of a Boston Terrier had Linda's name on it, the owner of 4 Boston Terriers. How could we possibly take it from her (Did any of us really want to?)
 Gen hit the jackpot with the huge bag of goodies and I use the word jackpot loosely.
 Gollllllyyyyyy....remember these TP covers I think we probably had one in our house (or were envious of those who had.
 and this cute little fabric piece we all need as a reminder when the holidays are over.
 This was a huge black trash bag filled with fabric which I went home with after taking it from Linda.  When I wasn't looking, many of Gens wonderful treasures wound up in that bag. I was wondering why it was so heavy. These gals cannot be trusted!
More about the party and more show and tell to come, got to make scarves and start a stocking for my granddaughter - have a great day.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pink Heads

Our holiday fair was this past weekend at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. It was a sea of people, controlled chaos and LOTS of fun! The day before while setting up, we met Maud (on left) whom I recognized from a word press class I recently took, I remembered her "pink ponytail". Janice and I both decided we wanted a pink streak for the fair. The next day (and morning of the fair) we found a can of pink spray on our table....hmmmm....we have 30 minutes before the fair opens so out in the back we went.
 Maud's helper covered our head with paper for protection for hair not being "pinked" and began to spray away.
 Janice and I below with our new "do's"
 It was great fun and since the 4 of us were next to each other and Maud having a corner spot, we called ourselves - The Pink Corner.
 The fair was a great success and we were kept busy every moment....
 making the time go quickly.
One of the most fun parts is the bartering that goes on. People want a scarf and will exchange with you for a mug that they make, so not only do you sell stuff but go home with treasures from other artists. Next week is another sale with a whole new group of artists. I plan to go to that one (as a shopper) and hope to see you there.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Fair

Tomorrow, Dec 1, is the first of 2 holiday fairs put on by the Southern Highland Craft Guild.  Both fairs are one day only from 10 to 4.  They are held at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, NC in the auditorium.  This is a very popular fair as members of the Southern Highland Guild are encouraged to sell seconds, overstocks etc at very low prices.  There are bargains on beautiful hand crafted pieces everywhere you look. I am selling my scarves as they are a nice gift item and seem to be popular.  I've been working diligently to get together a large inventory. I started with white silk scarf blanks in mostly crepe de Chine.  I secured them tightly in pantyhose to give a mottled effect to the coloring.  
 I have no favorites; each one that comes out is a surprise and fun to see.
 I've used many silks over the years and am slowly weaning out the silk I don't like.  China silk which is a popular silk for scarves is my least favorite as the color is not as rich.  In the pair below, the one on the left is a crepe de Chine and on the right is a China.  Both were dyed in the same dye bath but you can see a difference in the way the silks take the color.
 I have many people who love this color so I'll have lots of these on hand.
 The next two are among my favorites because of the color splitting which happens with certain colors. Only one color dye was used here and the color splits into 2 colors.
 This scarf had some color splitting but also some overdyeing as I wanted it to be more lively.
 Janice Maddox and I are sharing a booth and I think it looks quite colorful. Janice has some beautiful hand crafted pillows, small items and quilts for sale. The Christmas quilt, hanging up can be used as an advent calendar as the triangles on the first border are not sewn down; they are pockets for holding small treasures.
 When I left, many booths were not completely done but this should wet your appetite.
Lots of wonderful pottery.
and more...
 Some beautiful tiles and bowls...
There is also clothing, jewelry and lots of other wonderful items.  Please stop by and say hi and SHOP, there are some great deals.  If you can't make tomorrow, there is another fair next Saturday, same place and time with different artists.  It's a great time for all.